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How can one appoint a guardian for his or her minor children?

For young parents in Massachusetts and elsewhere who are going through the estate planning process, trying to decide who will care for young children in the event of their deaths or incapacitation can be challenging. As difficult as it may be, appointing a guardian for minor children really is a must. This column will address how this can be done and what should be considered before making the ultimate decision.

No one wants to think about not being around to or capable of caring for his or her children. Unfortunately, no one can predict the future. Having a plan in place can help avoid problems later.

It is possible to appoint a guardian for one's children in one's will. This individual will be responsible for raising one's children. So, before giving someone such a huge responsibility some factors should be considered:

  • Is the potential guardian at least 18 years of age?
  • Is he or she physically able to fulfill the role?
  • Does he or she have time and financial resources to care for the children?
  • Does he or she even have an interest in taking on this role?

The individual appointed as guardian of minor children in one's estate plan will be given both legal and physical custody. Obviously, there will be concerns about how it will all work out if the guardianship ever becomes effective. An experienced estate planning attorney can help young parents in Massachusetts by addressing their concerns and making sure the necessary steps are taken to fully protect their children should their deaths or incapacitation occur.

Source: FindLaw, "How to Establish Guardianship of a Child FAQs", Accessed on Nov. 30, 2016

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