Scarcely anybody wants to contemplate their untimely death, but planning for the unexpected is an important part of estate planning. Parents must consider what will happen to their children if they’re no longer around to raise them.
If you pass away without a will or without having named a guardian for your children, they’ll likely be placed under a California court’s jurisdiction. The state would have no choice but to call in Child Protective Services, who’d put your kids into foster care until an alternative placement could be found.
That’s why choosing a guardian is a critical component of any parent’s will. However, you may struggle to come up with names or feel unsure of how to choose between more than one prospective guardian.
Begin With a List
To help create a list of potential guardians, consider the following:
- Does the individual have adequate finances to take care of their own family, as well as my child?
- Would the individual be able to adapt their work-life schedule to my child’s needs?
- What are the ages and health of the people I’m considering? Do I need a back-up plan?
- Does the individual share the same political, religious, or ideological values as mine?
Additionally, you should speak to prospective guardians about their willingness to care for your child and provide for them emotionally, financially, and physically. But no matter who you choose as a guardian, you must document your decision. Whether you’re amending an existing will or creating a new one, your wishes will not be legally valid unless you’ve met certain requirements defined by California state law.
Do You Need To Speak With An Attorney About Estate Planning?
If you need to speak with an experienced estate planning lawyer please contact us online or call us directly at 800.756.5596 to first register for one of our free, informative seminars. Your attendance will qualify you for a special discount for our estate planning services should you decide to make a free appointment at the conclusion of the seminar and choose to proceed with us. We proudly serve clients throughout California with offices in Torrance, Newport Beach, Orange, Woodland Hills and Pasadena.