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Have you named a guardian for your children?

On Behalf of | Jan 23, 2020 | Estate Planning

Engaging in estate planning and facing the idea of one’s eventual death is a difficult concept for many, especially after they become parents. One of the greatest worries a parent has is what will happen to their children after they pass away. But what many do not realize is the answer to this question is often in their own hands.

Wills, trust documents and other estate planning tools lie at the hands of parents to determine who their children’s guardian is going to be after their demise. It is important for Colorado residents to realize that death is inevitable and taking plans to ensure their children’s well-being is essential.

Failing to select a guardian for one’s children can cause chaos after the parent’s death. If both parents die without leaving a directive, courts get a say in what happens to the child, and it is possible he or she or they may end up in foster care. It is also possible that there are multiple court hearings to determine who of multiple people should be appointed.

When choosing a guardian, it is important to know what one’s state law requires. In addition to those, parents should keep in mind a potential guardian’s religious preferences, financial responsibility, physical ability, location and emotional stability, among other factors.

Its also important to keep in mind that when one makes a decision, it can and should be reviewed over time. A court approval is not required to do so, but it is beneficial to let the guardians know about the change in order to avoid disputes in the future. Generally, estate planning documents such as wills and trust documents should be reviewed after every major life transition, such as births, deaths and divorces. Generally, it should be looked at every five-to-ten years while children are young and annually if there is a special needs child involved. Any wishes with regards to one’s children should be written up immediately and kept with one’s important documents to ensure the children’s well-being when parents are no longer around to control it.