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The Importance of Having a Will for Guardianship of Your Kids

Having a will for guardianship of your kids is an important estate planning function. Just as taxes do, inheritance laws vary from state to state, so it is important to check with a lawyer or legal facility to ensure that your paperwork is adequate and will stand legally in the eyes of inheritance laws. The issues surrounding the guardianship of minors can be complex, particularly when there are inheritances involved. This is why appointing a guardian is such an important aspect in planning the will.

Guardianship Defined

A guardian is the person who is responsible for the daily welfare and care of your children in your absence. A guardian has all of the rights, powers and duties that are typically given to the child's natural parents. This person will be a key component of your child's life if you die before she is an adult. They will be vested with making important decisions on your child's behalf. This person should be someone you trust to carry out this important function so that your children are raised well, safe and sound. This includes adequate housing, food, clothing and education.

Importance of Guardianship

When a parent dies and there is no one appointed with the responsibility of handling the affairs of the children, the courts will be left to make decisions about who will have that responsibility. Sometimes a guardian gets appointed even when there is a surviving parent, if she is incapable of raising a child. Consider all short and long-term factors of the child's welfare. Appoint the person who can best do this job easily. Discuss all the important factors about raising your children with the intended guardian, as well as any specific wishes. Draft a Memorandum of Wishes to address all concerns.

Parental Responsibility

It is particularly important for parents to have a will in place when they have minor children, even without significant assets. Otherwise, a court appointed guardian will be assigned to raise your kids, and that is not a scenario that most parents would be comfortable with.

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