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Name the right guardian for your children in your estate plan

When estate planning, it's easy to focus so much attention on your assets that you overlook details that are every bit as important. For example, you must name a guardian for any children under the age of 18.

This is a big decision, as this person will be responsible for raising your children should you and their other parent pass on.

Here are three tips for naming a guardian:

  • Talk it out: Even if you think someone will be okay with the idea of acting as guardian of your children, you should first discuss the finer details with them. Only then is it okay to officially include the person in your estate plan.
  • Shared values: You'll never find a guardian that is exactly the same as you in regard to parenting style and values, but a close match is important. This will help your children during the adjustment period.
  • Stability: This takes on many forms, pertaining to finances, health and age. For instance, you don't want to burden someone in bad health with the responsibility of acting as a guardian to your children. The same holds true of someone who is not in the best financial position.

Don't rush the process of naming a guardian for your children in your estate plan. Make a list of potential options, consider the pros and cons of each person and then make a final decision when you're confident in doing so.

A detailed approach will give you peace of mind, while knowing that you made the right decision on behalf of your children and estate plan in general.

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