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Choosing a Guardian – Part 1

Attorney Robert Franco

Robert Franco

Robert Franco has been practicing law for over a decade. He specializes in wills and trusts, as well as probate and estate administration. Robert grew up in the Pacific Northwest and now lives in Woodinville with his wife and three kids.

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Choosing a Guardian – Part 1

This article is for The People Most in Need of Estate Planning, those with minor children. This is a difficult topic to discuss and think about. But I repeat this in almost every blog, and I often mutter this in my sleep, because it is that important – If you have minor children, you need a Will.

And if this weren’t a highly respected legal blog, I would put “you need a Will” in all caps, with bold font, underlined, italicized, and bookmarked with three firecracker emojis on each side. You need a Will because if the unthinkable happens and your children are left without living parents, they will need a guardian.

Washington state allows parents to designate Guardians in their Wills, and the court in a guardianship proceeding will almost always honor the parents’ wishes. However, if guardianship is needed and the parents haven’t planned for this in a Will, it would be up to the court to find someone. And the last thing you want is to leave it up to a judge to determine who will raise your children.

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Choosing a Guardian is a very personal decision, one you hope will never be needed. Here is a list of the most important things to consider when nominating potential Guardians in your Will.

1. Location: A Guardian of minor children has full custody of those children and gets to decide where they live and what school they attend. If you want your children to stay in the same area, do not nominate someone who lives far away, in a different state or country.

2. Religion and Culture: In addition to determining where your children live and what school they attend, Guardians can also determine religious and cultural upbringing. Consider the religion and culture of the people you nominate if those are important to you.

3. Grandparents: The children’s Grandparents are often the first choice for people when choosing Guardians for many obvious reasons. However, you need to consider the ages of your children and grandparents. For example, it may not be practical for an 80-year-old grandparent to be the Guardian of a 4-year-old for the next 14 years.

In Part 2, we will review 5 more considerations when choosing a Guardian.

Ready to get started now? Send Robert a message to learn more about creating your estate plan and safeguarding your minor children.

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Service Areas:

Eastside Estate Planning is dedicated to providing estate planning, last will, and trusts services to individuals and families in the following areas:

Bellevue | Redmond | Monroe | Duvall

If you reside in any of these locations and are in need of professional estate planning assistance, we are here to help. Robert is committed to delivering personalized and top-quality estate planning solutions to clients within these cities. Contact us today to discuss your estate planning needs and secure the future of your assets.

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