As parents, we love our children unconditionally — we often think about what will happen to them when we are gone one day. Within these thoughts are nightmares of possible abandonment that our kids may face, and those scenarios can scare us to our core.  Surely there are ways to plan ahead and prevent a bad situation, our untimely passing, from getting worse (unscrupulous strangers – or the wrong relative, assuming guardianship of our children)! 

There are, fortunately, steps you can and should take today to prevent the scenario(s) playing out in your head, now. 

You can protect your children against things you don’t want them to face by nominating a legal guardian to protect them, and adopt them if necessary, if you pass.

In this article, we will discuss a few points to note about the idea of nominating a legal guardian, as well as several reasons why you should consider reaching out to us today to get started.

What Does Nomination of Guardianship Mean?

A guardianship nomination or designation is the process that inscribes, officially, who has the right to assume the care of your minor, or otherwise dependent, children.  Within the designation, you have the opportunity to also dictate how you want the children to be taken care of.  For example, you can share your thoughts on religion, diet, medical care, philosophy, school, access to funds, and much more.  In practicality, as you begin brainstorming this, you should connect with an experienced estate planning advocate, to assist.

The authority of the guardianship document becomes effective, i.e. gets triggered, the moment both parents die or become incapacitated or are absent.  The first two ideas death and incapacitation being permanent, or at the very least long-term.  And the third trigger, an absence, may only be a couple days (for instance: due to a travel issue, or becoming separated in an emergency, or some other unforeseen event).  You can see, a nomination of guardianship can truly plug the gaps in all manner of unexpected situations.

Designating a Nomination of Guardian Is Critical: Death Is Often Unexpected 

People are biased to believe death is very far from them; it happens to others. Unfortunately, that’s not true, at all.  Everyone will pass, including you!  

Death can happen at any time; the causes are uncountable and occasionally unforeseeable.  Fortunately, as we age, we tend to focus on taking better care of ourselves.  We also become much better at avoiding unnecessary risks.  

Here’s the thing.  If you are reading this, you may have a wonderful chance of living to a ripe old age.  But you will never have 100% chance of doing so.  And we all know someone who lost one or both of their parents young, to remind us of the trauma.  Always think positively about your future – but hedge your bets and protect your family – in case your number is called early.

Detailing Your Family’s Needs Legally

Young children may not be able to speak up for themselves on who should take care of them when you are not there. Even if they can, they may lack the scope of understanding, or wisdom, to make informed decisions in this space. 

When you go through the process of considering and nominating a guardian for them, you are setting them up to go into the care of a trusted person.  You are not only saying the designated guardian is someone you trust, but you’re also saying, you have faith in them.  In the event that your designation becomes necessary, your confidence in their commitment to your family will give them the needed strength and reassurance to establish parenthood and maintain the values you’ve worked so hard to instill in your children. 

Protect Your Family’s Values 

Naturally, every parent has certain moral, religious and political convictions with which they raise their kids. Even if you don’t explicitly state these tenets or write them down, they do define the way of life in your household. 

Most times, we want our kids to continue with these values, or approaches to life, even when we are not around. Working with a guardianship attorney, you can detail your convictions so that they are communicated clearly, enabling to the person assuming guardianship, and binding – as needed. 

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