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You can choose multiple guardians, but should you?

You have a large family. When your fifth child is born, you realize that you want to set up an estate plan and pick guardians for the children. If anything happens to you, you want to make sure that they get taken care of.

While most people think they need to pick one guardian -- essentially, a person to take over their own role in the family -- this is not actually the case. You can pick multiple guardians. Is that something you want to do?

The upside, of course, is that you can spread out the potential obligations. Say you want to choose your brother, who has three children of his own. Do you really want to suddenly give him a family with eight children? Is that affordable? Is it realistic? For many families, it isn't. Picking a different person to act as the guardian for each child keeps things manageable. People who may not have agreed to be the guardian for all of your children may agree to care for one.

The downside, though, is that this splits up the siblings during what is already sure to be an emotionally difficult time. Do you really want them to live apart? What if your guardians live in different cities or even different states? Is splitting the children up going to ruin their relationships with each other, and how does that influence your decision?

There's no strict right or wrong answer here. You just need to understand all of the options you have so that you can do what is right for your family.

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