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Choices that go into appointing a guardian for our children

All aspects of estate planning are tied to the goal of retaining control over one's finances - even after one is incapacitated or deceased. We create wills in order that everyone knows the manner in which we would like to see our assets distributed. We also put together estate planning so that it's clear what we have as a part of our estate. And we name executors in order that we have someone we can trust to carry out our wishes.

When we have children that need to be cared for either because they have not reached adulthood or are disabled, we clearly need to think about setting up a guardianship. If something should happen to us, we will want to make certain that the children are continued to be cared for in the manner that we wish. The guardian will raise the children should something unexpected occur. Out of an abundance of caution, it's wise to name a primary guardian and alternate guardians as well.

There can be a considerable amount of disagreement when it concerns the guardianship issue. We do not want misunderstandings to arise about the person who should be appointed guardian over our children after we no longer have the opportunity to make it clear who we think the best choice may be. We need to make certain that whoever is appointed is ready personally and financially to carry the duties of being guardian for one's children out.

It's important therefore to have this conversation with your attorney and the individuals that you wish appointed as guardians over your children to avoid misunderstandings.

Source: InsuranceNewsNet, "Estate Planning: Get Ahead," May 30, 2014

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