As a parent to young children, your life is probably already filled with positive memories as well as ambitions to build many more. There is nothing wrong with this, and in all likelihood, you have many fantastic years ahead of you.
However, there is always a chance that something unexpected might happen, such as an accident, and there is no harm in being prepared for this. Estate planning is often viewed as morbid and negative. In reality, it can bring a number of benefits to your life, such as security for your children.
As you plan for the future, you may want to include plans regarding who is to care for your children should something happen to you. Such people are commonly referred to as guardians.
So, how do you know whether or not someone is suited to be a guardian?
What is their financial situation?
Although money isn’t everything, there are costs associated with raising a child. You want to make sure that they have access to the best possible education, healthcare, housing and nutrition. Additionally, you will want them to continue engaging in enjoyable recreational activities, which aren’t always cheap. While the love that guardians can offer is what’s most important, in practical terms, they will need to be at least financially stable. (Remember: Even if you leave assets and income behind for your children, it’s important to rest assured that the guardian won’t rely on your child’s money for their own needs.)
Are they physically fit?
Maybe you were a handful when you were younger, constantly running around? Your parents were kept on their toes, but you lived a very fulfilling childhood. Perhaps your child reminds you of yourself during those times? Are your parents really up to the same task again? It’s a sad reality, but age catches up with us all and your parents may simply not be physically able to take on the role of full-time guardian. This doesn’t mean that they cannot have a say, or play an active role. Before nominating your parents as legal guardians, be sure to consider carefully the physical demands of raising a young child.
The best interests of your child will be at the heart of your estate planning process. As you organize your future, make sure you’ve taken note of your legal rights in Pennsylvania.