Estate Planning for Minor Children

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One of the most important reasons for estate planning is to ensure proper provisions are made for your children. If you have minor children, deal with all the issues involved can seem overwhelming but the alternative is to risk making no provisions.
When selecting a guardian, consider:

  • Would your parents really have the energy to raise more children?
    · Can you select a sibling or friend?

· Will the guardian be able to raise your child like one of their own?

  • Can one person raise all of your children?
  • Do you want to name more than one guardian?
  • Does your choice live far away and would a traumatized child be further uprooted?
  • Are you comfortable with the guardian’s parental style and moral beliefs?
  • Have you talked to your selected guardian?

Once you’ve settled on a guardian, discuss your decision with that person to make sure he or she is willing to take on the responsibility. You may, name a contingent guardian in case your first choice is unable to serve. Then – consider money:

  • Are there adequate financial arrangements so that the child’s presence will not be resented?
  • Should the person who has physical custody also handle their finances?

You may name two guardians, one for physical custody and one to handle their finances. Also, you can decide if trusts should be set up and how money should be distributed when your children reach adulthood. Finally, just because you’ve previously selected a guardian doesn’t mean that person is still the best choice. As your children grow, review your guardian choice every couple of years.

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