I often hear people say that they haven't yet named guardians for their kids because they can't think of anyone they want raising their kids.
That's really not what it's about.
I don't want anyone raising my kids either, but I'd rather I make that choice than have a judge make that choice (and have my kids stay in foster care while the court proceedings go on)! A judge is going to try, if at all possible, to place your children with closely related relatives. Do you have any relatives you'd rather have poke out your eye than have raise your kids? If you're like most of my clients, you do. The guardian may also end up controlling any money you leave behind. Do you have any relatives who are bad with money? We all do.
Here are some truths to look at when you feel stuck about naming guardians:
1. You need to lower your standards.
You may be trying to think of someone who will raise your kids as well as you have rasied them so far. This is the wrong approach. You're never going to find someone as right for your kids as you are. You need to lower your standards and focus on what is important. Who is going to love your kids? Who is going to hold them when they're missing their Mama and Daddy? It's as simple as that. If you're ruling out otherwise loving people because of other reasons, you should pull them back into the mix.
2. If you're ruling out people because of financial issues, you need to stop.
If financial concerns have left you with no choices, you are making a mistake. It is your job to provide the financial resources for the guardians to care for your children. This means with earning money and building assets, and/or purchasing life insurance. If you trust a person to care for your kids, but don't trust them with money, you can always name a different person or even a corporate entity to serve as trustee. So, if you've ruled out anyone because of financial concerns, you should pull them back into the mix and find a way to provide resources.
3. If there really is no one, you need to find someone.
If you truly can't think of anyone, then I really think you have a larger issue, and that's that you have no community. Every family needs a community. Every person needs a community. Maybe facing the reality of not having someone to care for your kids if you die is something that can help show you what you're missing in life. You'll be doing yourself and your kids a favor by finding a community that you can count on to be there even when you can't be.
For more information about the mistakes that parents make when planning their estate, please visit our website and download our free report.
To your family's health & prosperity,
P.S. Don't forget about my May offer: "I'm so excited, that I'm making a special offer for the month of May! Call before the end of the month to schedule your Initial Planning Session, and not only will I waive the usual $750.00 session fee, but I'll also give every caller who becomes a client a $50 gift certificate to Hopworks Urban Brewery! (It's my favorite place to go for casual dining, because not only do they have great organic beer and a healthy organic menu, but they also have a great kids area, so I can enjoy some adult conversation with my husband while the kids play happily.) You have to mention this blog post when you call though! The number is (503) 235-5150."