From the Desk of Del Mar, Carmel Valley estate planning attorney, Kristina Hess Haymes…
As a mother of three boys, I know that the thought of someone else raising your children is not a happy one. The truth is that there may not be anyone in the world who could raise your child or children as you could! I get that!
There is no perfect “guardian” (the person legally authorized to raise a child once the parents are no longer here) that is not you!
The Wall Street Journal recently highlighted this issue in an article titled, The Hard Question – who will take care of your child if you die?.
The article is worth a read if you have not yet named guardians for your children.
I also have a list of the 6 most common mistakes that parents make when naming guardians for their children and if you contact me, I would be happy to send it along.
At the end of the day, we hope and pray that you will survive to see your children graduate from high school, college, etc., but no one is promised tomorrow. An imperfect plan is better than no plan.
Because the truth is, whether you know it or not, there is a default plan in place for you — and that is for a judge to decide who will raise your children if you and the other parent are not here. So take the time to make your choice.
Here are three simple steps:
1) Brainstorm all possible options… your choice does not have to be a blood relative. While often times people think in terms of family, you may have a good friend, neighbor, or godparent who may be even better suited for the task at hand.
2) Make a list of your values… what really matters to you? Where the child will live, religion or spiritual tradition, work ethic, discipline style, character development, participation in extracurricular activities, education, etc. Then highlight your top 3-5 values.
3) Match your people with your values. Of the people on your brainstorm list, which ones match up with what really matters to you?
It’s not an easy choice and it is very common for couples to disagree and thus, avoid reaching a conclusion. I am here to help. It often helps to have a neutral third-party listen to both points of view and facilitate a resolution!
Contact Kristina today to get your San Diego guardian nominations in place. If you own your own home in San Diego, ask me about my January special of nominating f re e guardians for your children!
Create Legacies today!
San Diego Trust Attorney
Kristina Hess Haymes