We all hate to think that something could happen to us, but we know it happens to others like us every day. We’ve all seen the news stories of moms and dads who leave their children with a babysitter, get into a terrible accident, and don’t make it home.
The babysitter calls and calls, but there is no one to answer. The police are summoned and the children have to be placed with Child Protective Services. It’s the thing every parent is most afraid of happening.
We’ve seen the stories of children placed in the care of people they barely know, just because they are related by blood, since there was no plan in place that dictated who would take on this incredible responsibility.
And we have seen the fallout from family fights created when mom and dad didn’t make a plan, and the family couldn’t agree on what would happen. Or in the worst case, what happens when there is no family available.
In all cases, it’s left up to a Judge to decide when mom and dad haven’t.
But even if you have a will tucked away somewhere, is that all your children need? Don't make these six mistakes:
1. Named a couple to act as guardians when you don’t really want both people in the couple and you haven’t said what should happen if the couple broke up or one of the partners in the couple died.
2. Only named one possible guardian. What if something happens to your first choice?
3. Have not considered financial resources when deciding who should raise your children. Your guardians do not have to (and often should not) be financial decision makers for your kids.
4. Only have a Will, which means the Court will distribute your money, it’s totally public and doesn’t protect your money from their divorce and lawsuits.
5. Did not exclude anyone who might challenge your guardian decisions or who you know you’d never want to care for your kids.
6. Only named guardians for the long-term and did not make any arrangements for the short term if you were in an accident. What would happen in those immediate hours until your permanent guardians could arrive?