As parents of minor children, you want to ensure they’re taken care of in the event of your passing. Fortunately, North Carolina law allows you to name a guardian in will, which streamlines the process of having that person legally appointed to act. Another advantage is that the guardian will not have to purchase a security bond if you include the proper provisions in your will, a requirement that would otherwise apply.
While there are numerous statutory criteria for appointment of a guardian, choosing the right person to take your place as a parent is a very personal decision. It’s understandable that you’d like some guidance, and a HSF estate planning attorney can assist. Some answers to common questions may also be helpful.
Does your potential guardian share your views on parenting? You’re selecting a person who will take your place in parenting and who is most able to fulfill your wishes in raising your child. As such, you should consider whether this individual’s view align with your own objectives, values, and parenting style.
How does your choice affect location and education? The most qualified, esteemed choice of guardian may still not be the best fit if that would be a considerable disruption in your children’s lifestyle and education. Taking a child far from their home community can affect long-term development and social skills.
Do you need to consider co-guardians? Under North Carolina guardianship law, you can name separate individuals for different purposes. A guardian of the estate can be appointed to handle assets and financial issues, especially when your child will inherit a considerable amount through your will. Someone designated as guardian of the person would deal with personal affairs and health care. In some situations, it may be appropriate to consider two different people for these tasks.
Should you think about naming multiple guardians? Besides estate and personal guardians, you might also want to look into more than one person to act. If you wish for your children to be raised in a two-parent household, it may appropriate to include these provisions in your will. In some situations, you may want to list a successor guardian in case your first choice is unable or unwilling to act.
Is your chosen guardian financially stable? As you already know, raising a child can be expensive. Your choice for a guardian should be someone that is able to take on the economic burdens, whether you’re appointing someone as guardian of the estate, person, or both. You shouldn’t have to worry about the assets that you’re leaving for your child’s support, and whether there’s a risk that they’ll be squandered.
Consult with a North Carolina Estate Planning Lawyer About Guardianship
For additional answers to questions about naming a guardian in your will, please contact Howard, Stallings, From, Atkins, Angell & Davis, P.A. We can schedule a consultation at any of our offices in Raleigh, New Bern, or Morehead City, NC. One of our attorneys can explain your options and discuss other estate planning strategies.