If you are a parent, your top priority is the safety and well-being of your kids. Because you have a spouse, your kids have a backup parent in the event that either you or your spouse dies. Sometimes, though, both parents die simultaneously.
That is exactly what happened to a Wisconsin family recently. According to reporting from Yahoo!, a mother died in a car accident only five hours after attending her husband’s funeral. Hopefully, the woman had used her estate plan to designate a guardian for any minor children she might have had.
Long-term guardianship planning
Arguably, writing a last will and testament is the easiest way to designate a person to look after your kids in the event of your death. When choosing your guardian, consider both your values and your children’s wishes. Also, have meaningful discussions with prospective guardians to ensure they are equal to the task and willing to take on the role.
Short-term guardianship planning
While your will can name a long-term guardian for your children, a court must approve of the arrangement. This can take six months or longer. Consequently, it is critical to put a short-term guardianship arrangement in your estate plan. While this requires an additional document, appointing a short-term guardian keeps your kids out of foster care.
You and your spouse are probably going to live long and healthy lives, eventually perhaps even welcoming grandchildren into your family. Ultimately, though, by planning for the worst-case scenario, you can protect your kids even after your unlikely death.