Summary: If you are a parent with young children, it is your responsibility to nominate a guardian and make sure your choice(s) are memorialized in your estate plan. Georgia Estate Planning and Probate Law Firm Siedentopf Law shares some advice about selecting the right guardian for your child(ren).
If you have young children, one of the most important choices you can make is who to nominate as guardian if something happens to you. It isn’t enough to assume that because you have family the best person to raise your children will be appointed. It is your responsibility to make sure that the judge knows who you think the best choice is.
You will want your children to have love and stability with whatever guardian you choose. This can mean making hard choices—if your parents are too old to keep kids for very long, it may be better to choose a younger relative as the guardian than to have your children moved from home to home. You may also think about stability in terms of whether relatives live near you so that your children could keep their friends and their schools.
If you have more than one option that would provide love and stability, then you may prioritize people that have the same child-rearing philosophies that you do. No one will make the exact same decisions that you would at every point, but some people will get a lot closer to it than others.
You may also want to think about what opportunities your child will have. While you will hopefully be leaving your children financially taken care of, different people will provide different opportunities. If your children’s guardian lives in New York City, the lifestyle and options your child has will be very different than if your children’s guardian lives in a rural section of South Georgia.
These are only a few of the things that may be factors in your decision. It is imperative that you make decisions based on who would be the best guardian and not out of fear of hurting someone’s feelings that they weren’t nominated.
For advice on adding your pets to your estate plan, check HERE. If you have additional questions or are interested in setting up an estate planning appointment, you can contact Siedentopf Law at (404) 736-6066 or via the contact form on our website.
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