As parents, one of the most crucial decisions to make is selecting a guardian for your minor children. While it is a topic that may not be easy to ponder, it is a responsible and caring choice that every parent should consider.
The question remains as to when is the right time to choose a guardian for your kids. There are a few major lifetime milestones when it is appropriate to put extra thought into this decision.
Before your children are born
Believe it or not, the ideal time to think about guardianship is not necessarily when your child is already here, but before their arrival. When you are expecting, you can make the decision without the added responsibilities of parenthood weighing on your mind.
When you update your will
Guardianship decisions can be seamlessly integrated into your estate planning process. When you update your will or create one, you can include your choice of guardian.
When you reevaluate over time
Life is constantly changing, and so are your circumstances. As your children grow, you may need to reassess your choice of guardian. Make it a habit to revisit and update your decision periodically. This is an especially good idea after major life events like divorce, the passing of a chosen guardian or changes in your family dynamics.
Surveys show that as many as 67% of Americans have no estate plan. For parents, not having an estate plan can leave children without adequate care and support in a worst-case scenario. Starting an estate plan and naming a guardian for your children as soon as possible can be a major step toward protecting your child’s future.