Who will take care of your children’s needs or pay for your funeral? If you hold life insurance, what happens after your death?
What is Guardianship?
If you have children and something happens to you and your spouse, who will take care of them? If you have not appointed a guardian ahead of the inevitable, someone will have to petition the courts to appoint a guardian. A guardian is someone who will take care of your children’s needs, including providing for the appropriate shelter, food, education and medical expenses. And depending on the health of the children, if disabled, they may need support for a lifetime. Their dependency can continue for many years beyond the death of both parents.
Unless you specifically name a guardian in your will, anyone can step forward to ask for the job. Therefore, it is essential to name someone that you trust will carry out your wishes and desires.
What should you look for when choosing a guardian?
- Parenting styles that match your own
- Similar religious beliefs
- Location of the guardian in relation to your child’s present neighborhood
- The guardian’s own immediate family
- The guardian’s financial status
- Education values
- Moral values
Once you establish a will, a guardian is chosen and a child’s trust for estate property will be transferred effectively as well as life insurance. The objective of a trust is to control spending and that funds are periodically disbursed, as defined by Edward Graves’ McGill’s Life Insurance. Children cannot be named as a beneficiary in a life insurance policy but the Trustee of your estate can.
Moreover, by naming a Trustee in your Estate Planning Documents for your children’s money, not only have you protected them against delay, hassle and expense, but you have also reinforced your selection of guardian if you name the same person as guardian and trustee in your Estate Plan.
Another important step is to name beneficiaries for your retirement plans such your 401 K and IRA. By naming a beneficiary, you make it possible for the funds in the account to go directly to the person (or persons) you name, without probate.
Want to learn more about life insurance? Read our article The Most Frequently Asked Life Insurance Questions.