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Don’t Name a Married Couple as Guardians of your Children

A guardian laughs with a child

A Common Misconception

Parents commonly assume naming a married couple to be guardians of their children is a good choice. You may have a sister and brother-in-law who are great parents; parents who are involved in their children’s activities and education, supportive of your religion and values, and financially secure.  The danger in naming a couple as guardians is they may not remain the loving couple you know them to be now.

50% of Marriages End in Divorce

As unthinkable as it may seem to you when you draft your estate planning documents, every marriage has a chance of ending in divorce.  What would happen to your children if you have named a couple to be guardians, but they get divorced? Who will end up as guardian? Do you want your children to go back and forth to different homes if the divorced couple has a parenting plan or do you want your children to just stay with your sibling and not your in-law?

One solution may be to name one spouse as guardian and the other spouse as successor guardian. That ensures if one spouse is unable to act as guardian, the other spouse will take over as guardian.

Getting Legal Help

Experienced Estate Planning Attorney Elga Goodman can help you make an estate plan that ensures your children will be well cared for and there never be a gap in the care they deserve.  Call us today at 973-841-5111.

Posted in: Estate Planning, New York Estate Planning