Eastside Estate Planning Logo

Choosing a Guardian – Part 2

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.

Latest Post

Share This Post

Choosing a Guardian – Part 2

In Part 1 we reviewed the first 3 considerations for choosing a Guardian for your minor children: Location, religion and culture, and grandparents. In the final part of the series, we review 5 more factors to assist you in determining who you want to care for your children if you were no longer able to.

4. Co-Guardians: Another popular choice is the children’s aunts and uncles. If they are married, this means appointing potential Co-Guardians. Be careful when choosing to appoint Co-Guardians who are married. If they divorce, they would still be Co-Guardians, potentially splitting time with both. If one of the Guardians passes away, the other would be the sole Guardian.

For these reasons, you need to ask yourself, if you would want both individually to act as sole Guardians. If not, just select the one you would want as the sole Guardian and then find better backups.

5. Time and Energy: Another very important consideration is whether the Guardian you choose has the capacity to take on your kids. If you appoint your brother as Guardian of your four kids, and he already has six kids of his own, would he be able to handle ten kids total? If you appoint your sister as Guardian but she is devoted to her career, working 80 hours a week, would she have the capacity to take on this role?

Often, people might have the time, energy, and ability at the time of making the Will, but that can change. That is why it is important to have backups.

You May Also Like: Choosing a Guardian – Part 1

6. Backups: Often, people might have the time, energy, and ability at the time of making the Will, but that can change. They may pass away before you, they may be going through a difficult divorce or other transition, they may have moved out of the area, or any number of reasons that might prevent them from handling your kids. That is why it is important to have backups.

I recommend nominating at least two backups. Even if it seems remote and you aren’t sure if they will be able to do it, the question is whether you would rather decide or whether you would rather leave it up to a random judge who does not know you or your kids.

7. Let Them Know: There is no requirement that you ask before you nominate guardians. There is nothing for them to agree to now. But if the unthinkable happens and they are needed, they will need to agree to be your children’s guardians.

For this reason, it is often a good idea to at least let them know you have put them in your Will as potential guardians of your children. Their reaction will also give you an indication of their willingness in case you need to consider other options.

8. Divorced Parents: Generally, guardianship is only needed if a minor child is left without living parents. However, there could be a situation where a Guardian is needed if the surviving parent is unfit because of a behavior problem, addiction, or other issue. For divorced parents, you would be nominating your choice of guardian if neither of you were alive.

But if you believe the other parent would be unfit to be the sole parent if you pass away, then you should state that in your Will and provide documentation to your Personal Representative so they can make that case in a contested guardianship proceeding.

Knowledgeable | Practical | Compassionate

At Eastside Estate Planning we focus exclusively on estate law and offer reasonable flat fees, depending on your individual needs. With 10 years of legal experience, Robert is an expert at explaining complex estate planning concepts simply and advising his clients to make the right decision for their circumstances.

Interested in learning more about our services?

Visit our website for more information, or schedule a free consultation with Robert to receive a personalized quote.

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.

You May Also Like: The Best Way to Leave Money to Young Children

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Contact Us

425-272-1450 robert@eastsideestateplanning.com 8201 164th Ave NE STE 200, Redmond, WA 98052
Copyright © 2023 Eastside Estate Planning | Website Marketed by Ascend LLC