When you become a parent, there are so many things to think about that it can sometimes be overwhelming. One thing that parents often fail to consider is the possibility that they may pass away before their children are fully grown. The possibility is remote, of course, but what is at stake is the care and custody of your beloved children, which is why it is important to address that concern by naming a guardian for them in a will.
Making a will is a way to ensure that your wishes regarding the guardianship of your minor children are respected in the unlikely event that you pass away before they attain the age of majority. In your will, you can name a personal guardian for each of your children. You may want to consider naming the same person as personal guardian for each of your children, so that they will not be separated from each other. Losing their parents would be devastating, to be sure, but losing their parents and then being separated from each other would be even worse. It is also important that you name an alternate guardian for each child, in the event that the person that you named as their personal guardian is unable to fulfill his or her duties.
Including a personal guardianship provision in a will is a relatively straightforward matter. The more difficult work is likely to occur before the will is drafted, as you think about who you will name as the guardian and alternate guardian. Your beliefs and values are likely to be a major consideration when it comes to selecting a guardian. When you become a parent, it becomes clear after a while that some of your family and friends agree with how you are parenting your children, while others might not. Finding a guardian who is likely to raise your children in the way that you would like for them to be raised is often a top priority for parents, often taking precedence over other factors.
Another thing to consider is the age of the potential guardian. In order to serve as a guardian for a minor, a person must be over the age of eighteen. On the other end of the spectrum, you will want to choose a guardian who is likely to be in good health and who would be able to keep up with your kids until your youngest child turns eighteen. Other factors that influence many parents’ decisions about who they name as the guardian of their children include the relationship between a prospective guardian’s children and their children, the location of the prospective guardian, and the amount of time that the prospective guardian has available to devote to the children.
Once you have decided who you would like to name as guardian and alternate guardian, there is another step that you should take before drafting your will. Talking to the prospective guardian and alternate guardian might not be easy, but it will give them the opportunity to think about whether they would be willing and able to serve in that role if need be.
If you would like to learn more about naming a guardian for your minor children in a will, contact the law office of J. Joseph Weber, P.A. You may call our Wichita office at (316) 265-7802, or contact us through our website to arrange an initial consultation. Our office is open Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and weekend and evening appointments are also available.