As it happens, parents would rather talk about pretty much any other part of their personal life than answer this question. But when they finally do start talking, almost everyone has the same misconceptions about the process. In fact, most folks are letting four major myths hold them back from getting the job done and protecting their kid in case the worst happens.
Estate Planning can be a pretty off-putting subject for many people. And, since the subject matter is one’s own death, it’s easy to understand why. Sometimes, however, it may be easier to just think about estate planning in terms of money or assets.
Nevertheless, the issues that are worth planning for are often more immediate. For example, every parent has a good reason to nail down the issue of guardianship for their minor children.
To that end, Jacoba Urist at the Huffington Post recently put together the four dangerous myths about choosing a guardian:
- The myth of the perfect match. What would the perfect match look like? Someone just like you, presumably (and you personally, in a perfect world.) Nevertheless, it’s a convenient myth for putting off any decision and getting any planning done. Remember: You can always name a new guardian as your child grows or as circumstances change.
- The myth that someone will step up and solve the issue anyway. While it may be true that your family members will swoop in, that doesn’t mean they will all agree on who ought to do so (or that the family members you would want to will even be able). It can mean a family fight and, in that case, the one who actually chooses is the judge.
- The myth that you can just leave a letter hidden somewhere. Many parents write a letter asking a loved one to become guardian and then tuck it away so that it can be found if the need should arise. Although that’s better than nothing, it’s not legally binding.
- The myth that you don’t have to ask. If you don’t ask you’ll never know how your guardian feels about your decision. Deciding this issue in advance can help your family and your children in a difficult time.
Take a look at the original article here, and maybe consider if you’re holding yourself back from making a decision. Often, proper planning begins in one place and spreads out into an entire plan, so perhaps this is how you come to find your plans and your priorities.
Reference: The Huffington Post (October 24, 2011) “4 Dangerous Myths About Choosing a Guardian”