When you have children, you may start to think about the future and who might care for your kids if you happen to pass on unexpectedly. The New York Times notes that the children of parents who have no will may end up in the foster care system, despite the parents’ beliefs that their care will pass immediately to the family.
Since an unstable upbringing could cause emotional and mental harm to a child, when you set out to make a will, you may want to do all you can to name a legal guardian in this document to ensure your children get the best of care.
Make your wishes clear
Directives regarding who will watch over your children in case you pass away can affect their entire future, so putting your wishes in writing can help ensure no misunderstandings occur. For example, if you told your older sister you want her to take your children in if something happens to you, make this clear in your will, as verbal wishes may not hold up in court if another family member petitions the court for custody.
Choose for the future
You may assume your children will live with your parents if you pass on before the kids are grown, but even if they agree, it is important that you consider the future before you make such plans. Ask yourself how old your parents are now and consider their ages once the children reach their early teens. The individual or individuals you choose must be mentally and physically capable of caring for your kids during each life stage.
Any individual 18 years of age and older may assume legal responsibility for your children. Work closely with whomever you choose to ensure you both cover all of your concerns.