Picking a guardian for your child whether you are expecting or already have young children can be an emotional process. Trying to pick a family member from one person’s side or the other can cause tension or make you feel like you’re “picking sides”. Having a new baby and having children is a joyful yet challenging time. Naming the guardian(s) of your children shouldn’t be something you feel guilt over. Most assume that they must pick a family member, but you can actually name whomever you feel will be the best fit. In a Business Insider article, former financial advisor and mom, Katie Oelker, shares how she and her husband made the decision to pick guardians for their daughter and later daughters, before each child was born, and how they ultimately picked friends instead of family.
Katie Oelker and her husband had many conversations about who they would name as guardians of their children, the first of these conversations beginning before they even had their first daughter. Katie felt it was important to make this kind of decision before the birth of their first daughter in the event she was to die in childbirth or if anything else were to happen in those initial days of being new parents. Discussing and naming a guardian before they had children was deeply important to the couple.
As they considered who would get custody of their children, they considered many factors. They thought about proximity, who would be emotionally, mentally, and physically up for raising two girls, and who was in a financial position to do so. The financial stability aspect was important to them because while both spouses have life insurance they intended to leave to be used for the costs of raising the girls and for college, they knew that unexpected expenses can arise. Additionally, they examined the stage of life the candidates they were considering were in.
Ultimately, they chose friends of theirs who have two boys close to the ages of their daughters. While Katie and her husband did feel their family could be a viable option, they felt that because they already had children of a similar age, that two additional children wouldn’t be a huge lifestyle change.
While choosing a guardian will be different for every family, it is important to remember that you can name whomever you feel is the best fit, and you can always change your mind. Your estate plan is not set in stone, and with our ongoing client care program at Family Estate Planning Law Group, it is even easier to make updates, so your plan consistently reflects your life changes. Our ongoing client care program means that you can make changes as needed at no additional charge. This is ideal if you have a growing family, whether you are parents welcoming new children or grandparents welcoming grandchildren.
At Family Estate Planning Law Group, we know that taking care of your family is your priority, and we are here to come alongside you and make that a reality no matter what the unexpected throws at you. If you are struggling to choose a guardian for your child(ren), we can help you work through the decision-making process, and if you change you mind, update your plan. We will help you create an estate plan that will take care of your loved ones beyond naming a guardian and life insurance beneficiary. Our holistic estate planning will ensure you have peace of mind.