Selecting a guardian for your children is an important decision that every parent should carefully consider. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the key factors to keep in mind when choosing a guardian for your children.
At Heritage Law Office, our experienced estate planning attorneys in Wisconsin will thoroughly review your needs and wants when planning your estate and provide an outline of your best options, including the creation of an irrevocable trust. Contact us either online or at 414-253-8500 to schedule a free consultation today.
Understanding the Role of a Guardian in Wisconsin
A guardian is a person appointed by the court to make legal and financial decisions on behalf of a minor child or an incapacitated adult. Guardianships in Wisconsin are governed by the Wisconsin Statutes, which provide guidelines and requirements for the appointment of guardians.
The Guardian's Responsibilities
Guardians have a range of duties and responsibilities, including:
- Making important decisions regarding the child's upbringing, education, and medical care
- Managing the child's finances and property
- Providing a safe and stable home environment
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Guardian
There are several factors to consider when selecting a guardian for your children. These factors include:
Values and Beliefs
Choose a guardian who shares similar values and beliefs as you, ensuring that your children will be raised according to your wishes.
Stability and Reliability
Consider the guardian's personal and financial stability, as well as their ability to provide a secure and nurturing environment for your children.
Age and Health
Select a guardian who is in good health and capable of taking on the responsibility of caring for your children for an extended period of time.
Relationship with Your Children
Choose someone who already has a strong relationship with your children, as this will help ease the transition if they are called upon to assume guardianship.
Consider the guardian's location and the potential impact of relocating your children, as this may affect their schooling and relationships with friends and family.
The Importance of Naming Alternate Guardians
It's essential to name alternate guardians in your estate plan in case the primary guardian is unable or unwilling to serve. This ensures that there is always someone available to care for your children if necessary.
The Legal Process of Appointing a Guardian
In Wisconsin, the process of appointing a guardian involves filing a petition with the court, which outlines your reasons for selecting the proposed guardian. The court will then review the petition and make a determination based on the best interests of the child.
Notifying the Proposed Guardian
Before appointing a guardian, it's crucial to discuss your intentions with the proposed guardian and obtain their consent. This ensures that they are willing and able to take on the responsibility if needed.
Reviewing and Updating Your Guardianship Plans
It's important to periodically review and update your guardianship plans to ensure they still reflect your current wishes and circumstances. Changes in the lives of the proposed guardians or your children may necessitate adjustments to your plans.
Contact an Experienced Estate Planning Attorney in Wisconsin
To ensure the best possible outcome for your children, contact our knowledgeable estate planning attorneys at Heritage Law Office by using the online form or calling us directly at 414-253-8500. Our experienced team can guide you through the process of selecting a guardian and creating a comprehensive estate plan that protects your family's future.