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How to select a guardian for your children

No parent ever wants to think about what would happen to their children if he or she died unexpectedly. Usually, most children in the Kent area outlive their parents, but occasionally a tragedy strikes that requires the children to go to a guardian. Setting up guardianships for children is a very important estate planning activity that all parents should complete.

When setting up a guardianship, there are several things for families to consider. First, there are two types of guardianships for children. The first is a guardian of the estate who oversees the financial aspects of the child, and the other is a guardian of the person who takes care of the child. A family can choose a different person for each of the guardianship roles. One can also assign more than one guardian for each role. But parents are advised to be careful when assigning more than one guardian of the person. Multiple guardians may mean the children are split up.

When choosing a guardian, carefully consider who you think you would like to take care of your children. Usually, a person with similar values and the economic means to take care of children is appropriate. Also, it may be important to choose someone who is younger and able to care for the children until they are on their own. Also, it is best not to choose someone that the court would not approve, such as someone who is a drug addict or has a criminal record. When some potential guardians have been selected, be sure to talk to them to make sure they are ok with that decision.

A legal professional skilled in estate planning can help a family select a guardian and prepare and file the proper legal paperwork. An attorney can answer all of the unique questions each family has and help make sure this important aspect is taken care of.

Source: family.findlaw.com, "Ten things to think about: Choosing a guardian for your child", accessed on Nov. 6, 2016

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