No one wants to imagine the possibility of someone else raising their child. But life has its share of uncertainties. As difficult as it is, the decision to designate a guardian for your child is one that you should never overlook.
A guardian is basically an individual you nominate in your will to assume parenting roles for your minor child in the event that something happens to you and the other parent. Without one, the state would make this decision on your behalf.
Why choose a guardian for your minor child?
By designating a guardian for your child, you will have a voice in deciding who will raise your child should you die. If you do not, the court will decide who will be your child’s custodian, especially if the other parent is unfit, deceased or otherwise unable to care for the child.
That said, here are costly missteps that you need to avoid when designating a guardian for your child:
Picking someone because you feel obligated
Some parents assume that they have to designate obvious people as guardians for their children – perhaps their grandparents, parents or even siblings. However, this might not be the right approach to this matter. You do not want to name someone as your child’s guardian simply to appease them. Keep in mind that it is all about your child, and you have a duty to put their interests first.
Letting your emotions get the better of you
Naming a guardian ought to be a logical process, one that is devoid of emotions. Perhaps, you get along perfectly well with your grandma. But they are quite advanced in age and, thus, might not have the strength to take care of your child for years to come. You are better off removing emotion from the equation and thinking logically about what is best for your child.
With your child’s future and well-being at stake, the importance of designating a guardian for your child cannot be overstated. Understanding how New Jersey estate planning laws work can help you protect your child’s best interests when designating a guardian for them.