Who will care for your underage child if you pass away?
Your estate plan is an important way to provide for your loved ones and give yourself peace of mind. When your child is under the age of 18, however, you may need to take additional care during the estate planning process to provide the support they need if you pass away before they are an adult. How can you make sure the right person cares for them?
Naming a guardian allows you to choose who will care for your child.
When a person passes away without a plan in place, the court determines who will care for their underage child. However, the person that the court chooses might not be the person you trust to love and raise your child in the way that you would. Thankfully, you do not have to leave that decision up to the court.
Writing a will allows you to name a guardian based on your wishes for your child, not the decision of the court. Choosing the right person can not only provide your child with a sense of stability during a difficult time, but it can also ensure that their guardian can provide for them in the long term. This includes not just meeting their physical needs but also supporting their religious and spiritual needs.
If your situation changes, your choice for a guardian can change too.
Over time, your situation may change. Your chosen guardian may experience new health issues that leave them unable to care for your child. They may move to another state. Your relationships might change and the guardian you initially named may not have your trust or be as close to your child as they once were. When these changes arise, it can be important to update the guardian named in your will.
With careful thought and experienced guidance, you can create a plan that provides for your child and that reflects your relationships today and in years to come.