A Common Mistake When Naming Guardians

Jackie Bedard
Connect with me

A common mistake that we see parents make is naming a couple to act as guardians for their children. What’s wrong with that?  Well the mistake is usually in the way that it is done.  Let’s look at example.  Assume that you’ve named both your sister and her husband as guardians for your children. Well, what should happen if they later separate, divorce, or if one of them dies?  Would you want your brother-in-law to be the sole guardian for your children?  If not, then you need to be very specific in how you designate your guardians.

You may wish to consider just naming your sister as guardian.  Otherwise, if you name a couple as guardian, then your guardian designation should also clearly specify what should happen if they separate, divorce, or if one of them dies.  Do you want just your sister to serve solely as guardian?  Or perhaps it is more important to you that your children be raised in a two-parent household and you’d prefer to name another couple as an alternate?

As you can see, it’s important to be precise with the drafting of the guardian nominations.

Free Guide for Parents with Minor Children:

If you have minor children, make sure you check out our free guide, on Children's Safeguard Planning, that covers the unique issues involved in estate planning when you have minor children, including naming guardians and protecting their future. Or, contact us to discuss the best way to get started at 919-443-3035 or via our contact form.