Why First-Time Parents Need A Will To Name New Guardians
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Why First-Time Parents Need A Will To Name New Guardians

No one is a fan of estate planning. However, it can be the difference between consistency and total chaos for grief-stricken children id something unexpected happens.

  • If you’re a parent and don’t have a will, you should create one now. You must name guardians in a will in order for your wishes to be honored. You never know when someone might unexpectedly pass away.
  • Make informed decisions: A good estate planning lawyer will bring up options and concerns you never thought about.
  • Ensure anyone you name to care for your child if you pass away is willing and able to take on the task at hand.
  • Revise your will if your mind changes. It can be quick and easy to make updates and if your aren’t required to inform any person you remove as guardian.
  • You should review your documents annually, but at least ever 2 to 5 years. Keep in mind, guardianship decisions could change after major life events such as divorce.
  • When you have more particular wishes about how your child should be raised, such as specific education decisions or the religion in which they will be raised, these wishes must be in writing.

As a parent, you probably find yourself silently admiring your child’s latest success—riding a bike without training wheels, VIP in basketball, winning the spelling bee, etc.

But are you spending enough time thinking about who would raise your child if you were no longer around? If you pass away, what happens to the life you and your child are building together.

For parents that have minor children, guardianship conditions are critical to the estate planning process. In all likelihood, your named guardians will never have to step up to care for your child, because you will be survived by the other parent, However, it something happens to both of you, and your child needs to go live with a named guardian, having conditions in place is vital.

Naming a Guardian in Your Will

To guarantee your wishes regarding guardianship of your minor children is respected, you must meticulously and intentionally clarify your named guardian(s) and any conditions of the guardianship in your will or living trust.

You should include a provision covering future children to guarantee none of your dependents are excluded from your will, even if you pass away prior to revising your will to reflect their existence. A good estate planning attorney will include a provision in your will to guarantee that future children born and/or adopted are included in the guardianship naming.

What Happens if You Don’t Name a Guardian?

Most people believe their children will go directly to family, so they spend very little time thinking about it, let alone developing a plan for guardians. However, if you fail to designate a guardian in a will, the court will decide this, and many other, issues about your child future. Additionally, the State is responsible for your child until a suitable guardian can be appointed by the Court, and a Judge might make a decision contrary to your wishes. Preparing a will and naming a guardian  avoids this and my other issues.

Special Factors for Divorced Couples or Blended Families

When you are divorced,  you still need to name a guardian, in case your ex-spouse passes away before you. Furthermore, if are remarried and have a blended family, you should name a guardian specifically for your child(ren) since your step-children will likely  have a living parent or a different guardian named. A knowledgeable estate planning attorney can help you plan for these and many other issues to ensure your children are protected.

Arizona Family Law

Naming guardians in your will can be part of your estate plan. You may think you’re too young or don’t have enough money to justify the expense, but if you have children, you have priceless assets. There are many considerations when naming guardians for your kids. However, the process doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated.

There’s nothing better than the peace of mind you will have knowing you’ve protected your family at a time when they need it most. Let us help. Schedule a consultation or contact Ogborne Law, PLC of Arizona today.

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