Estate Planning Resources

5 Mistakes When Choosing a Guardian for Your Minor Children & How to Avoid Them

Choose a Legal Guardian As Soon As Possiblelittle girl blowing bubbles

Do you have a Last Will & Testament written? What about your wishes for your children? It’s not something you think about every day, but it should be. Your estate is one thing, but your children’s well-being should be top priority. Your will should include the names of the legal guardians to take care of your minor children should you become disabled, pass away, or otherwise be unable to provide for your children.

Before you name a guardian, be careful to not make these common mistakes:

1. Not thinking long-term

What if one of the guardians passes away before you update your will, and the other one isn’t able to take on the role themselves? Creating a backup plan to answer the ‘what-ifs’ is a smart move, and gives you complete control of your children’s well-being even if you’re incapable or deceased.  

2. Not providing detailed instructions on how your children should be raised

Do you have a certain school you want your children to attend? What about their nutrition or religion? As a parent, your wishes should be honored. While you cannot guarantee your child learns ballet or plays soccer, you can at least make your wishes of how and where they are raised known.

3. Naming only 1 guardian

Selecting 3 or 4 different guardians secures your children’s future, especially if your first, or even second choice doesn’t work out for some reason. Carefully selecting several backup guardians guarantees that your children will be under safe care, no matter what happens.

4. Not specifying who you don’t want raising your children

You have your opinions on who you don’t want as your minor’s guardian. Share them in writing! Documenting who you want and don’t want will settle arguments, even if your extended family members disagree with your choice of guardian. If you are divorced and have primary custody of children from that union, you will definitely want to make it clear how much influence your former spouse can have.

5. Choosing a specific person just to appease them

Don’t select a specific person as a guardian just to appease them. Whether they are friend or family, you should not be pressured into naming a guardian if you do not have 100% certainty they will follow your wishes. It is ultimately YOUR DECISION as a parent to choose who raises your children if you’re unable to do so.

Superior Guidance from Milwaukee Estate Attorneys

Angermeier & Rogers are here to lead you through the entire guardianship process and answer any questions you may have. Drafting a Last Will & Testament and naming a legal guardian for your minor children can get complicated. Trust our knowledge and professional experience in family estate planning, as well as Medicaid planning, retirement asset planning, and trust administration.

Contact Wisconsin family will & trust attorneys at Angermeier & Rogers today!