Assigning A Guardian: Important Considerations

As a parent, ensuring your children are properly cared for should always be one of your top priorities. While few people want to think about their own mortality (especially parents with children under the age of 18), taking steps now so that your children will have a loving, trustworthy guardian to care for them in the event that something happens to you is an important aspect of parenting. Whether you are preparing for your first baby or are already parenting multiple children, nominating a legal guardian for your children is simple. Our estate planning attorney at the Lake of the Ozarks is here to help.

Nominating A Guardian For Your Children

Once your children turn eighteen, they are an adult and no longer legally considered to be in need of a guardian. Until that day, however, they need a guardian to watch over them. Hopefully you will be around well beyond the time needed to fulfill that role.  But in the event you are not, without having nominated a legal guardian for your children, someone else will have to make that determination. Your choice of guardian can be set forth in your written Will. That way your choice is clear.  While a guardianship appointment would still need to be applied for in probate court and approved by the probate judge, at least your wishes will be considered.

How To Choose a Guardian for your Children

Deciding who to nominate is not always an easy decision. Asking these questions can help you identify whom may be a good option:
  • Can I Trust This Person To Care For My Children As I Would?
    • It's no secret that parents often feel strongly about their parenting choices and value systems. It's important that your chosen person will be able to uphold the same standards and values that you do.
  • Will My Children Still Have Access To Their Other Relatives?
    • Losing their parents will be hard enough - you don't want to make things even harder on your children by choosing a person who will be unwilling/unable to let them spend time around other relatives.
  • Will This Person Provide A Stable Environment For My Children?
    • Children need stability in order to thrive. A person who is constantly moving from city to city or in and out of multiple relationships may not be a smart choice for a guardian.
  • Do My Children Feel Comfortable With My Choice?
    • If your children are old enough to understand the concept of guardianship, it is worth allowing them to voice their opinion. If they feel strongly that they do not wish to live with a person, he/she may not be a good choice.

Guardianship Laws

Once you have decided who to nominate as your children's guardian, it is important to ensure your wishes are documented in your properly drafted and executed Will. An estate planning lawyer in Osage Beach MO can help with this process. Reviewing your will every couple of years thereafter will allow you to make adjustments if your relationship with your originally nominated person changes for any reason.

Contact O'Donnell Law Center For Help Appointing A Guardian

While thinking about who to nominate as your children's legal guardian may not be a pleasant process, it will ultimately bring you peace of mind. Starting this conversation sooner, rather than later is a good idea, as it may be difficult to arrive at the right decision. Our estate planning attorney at the Lake of the Ozarks is happy to help facilitate this process. Visit our website to learn more about our estate planning services in Camden County MO.

We Carry Your Burden ~ You Carry On With Life.

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Phone: (573) 552-0317

O'Donnell Law Center, LLC
1026 Palisades Blvd. Suite 3

Osage Beach, MO  65065


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