5 Things to Know About Guardianship

1. This may seem obvious, but always make sure that your choice for guardianship knows your intentions. Serving in this capacity is a big responsibility, and all parties need to be confident that the best interests of everyone are being met.

2. While you’ll want to have a back up choice in the event your first choice is unable to perform, be careful about appointing co-guardians. This may seem like a nice way of appeasing family members, but in reality, it’s hard to predict how co-guardians will get along in the event they are suddenly faced with the task of raising your children.

3. Depending on what’s involved, the cost of estate planning can run from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand. Many lawyers will agree to meet with you, discuss your needs, and then give you an estimate of what you’ll end up paying.

4. Choosing to make a will online is tempting, given the low costs. However, if you plan to set up a trust, or if you are wary of anyone contesting your choice of guardian, it’s probably your best bet to have a lawyer who specializes in estate planning working with you to ensure that every base is covered.

5. Your choice for guardianship can also be legalized by filing forms of guardianship and having them witnessed, signed, and notarized. Bear in mind, however, that these forms don’t necessarily stipulate how any money or life insurance is to be dispersed.

If you are working through these issues, my advice is don’t take the road of trying to save a few dollars and risk chaos later. Contact your local estate planning attorney for help. Good luck.

Randy Fisher

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