Tough Question Parents: Who Do You Want to Raise Your Child?
Updated: Sep 29, 2021
Now that you’re a parent, it’s more important than ever to draw up a will. A will is not only necessary to protect your estate, but also vital in protecting your family. Certainly it’s hard to imagine someone else raising your precious child, but if something were to happen to both of the child’s parents you’d want to be sure your little one is in the best hands.
As a parent of a toddler, I know that one of the last things I want to do right now is to pick a guardian if my wife and I were to die before he is grown. I know, however, that my choice of a guardian is much better than the alternative of letting the State of Louisiana choose after it’s too late for me. Let’s face it, Louisiana can’t choose what test they want to give students much less choose the best guardian.
To ensure that your minor child is brought up by someone who will love and care for your child as much as you would, the parents need to appoint a “Tutor/Tutrix” (Guardian) in their will. In addition to the standard morals, parenting style, and religion here are some other factors to consider when choosing a “tutor:”
Don’t name a couple: If you decide that your married sister, Wilma, would be a great guardian, then don’t name “The Flintstones” as tutors. Things happen and though they seem to have a great marriage now,
doesn’t mean they always will. If they divorce and both Fred & Wilma petition for custody, you have walked right into the situation you were trying to avoid by letting the courts decide.
Take age and health into account: Grandparents can make excellent guardians, but they may be too old to run around after a toddler (or too intolerant to handle the demands of a teen). With the risk of soun
ding crude, you also want to try to make sure that the tutorship will last for the duration of the child’s minority. So, if your parents have had health issues consider other options.
Figure finances and family: Do you want your child to be an only child or have new brothers and sisters? Can your brother with four kids of his own take on the demand of another? If you want the child to remain close with the rest of your family be sure the tutor has a good relationship with the family. Also consider the stability of the prospects employment. If she jumps from job to job for seemingly no reason, then it may be best to look elsewhere.
Split the task: If you are fortunate enough to have money & possessions as part of your estate, consider splitting up the duties of the estate trustee and guardian. There is some obvious benefit to having the tutor and trustee being the same person, but it may also be beneficial to divide the responsibility. For example, if you think you’re asking too much of one person, or if Wilma is willy-nilly with her finances.
Finally, Go With A Pro: Hiring an attorney is money well spent. Sure printing a will from www.oneforallwills.com will be cheaper (and likely NOT valid in Louisiana),but attorneys are trained to help you cover all your bases.
The truth is that us parents are the best guardians for our children and no one will meet our high expectations. It is important, however, to have a 2nd best option named just in case.
To get started protecting your family contact me.