Have you seen the movie “Annie” about an orphan girl? Things come right for her in the end, but life is pretty tough as a child without parents.

 

Have you considered the possibility that your children could become orphaned? You and your spouse get in the car to head to the store and don’t come home. The knock on the door, your kids opening it to find a policeman standing hat in hand.

 

Hopefully, this is never going to happen, but you would be wise to consider the possibility. If you have not yet made an estate plan, do so. Guardianship is the technical term for who looks after your children if you die.

 

The younger your kids, the more critical it is. If your children have almost finished school, then you have done most of the raising. If they are still young, they are going to need, in effect, new parents. Nominating someone as guardian is asking a lot, so if you have someone in mind, have a conversation with them now.

 

There are two types of guardianship: of the person and the estate. Maybe your brother is the obvious choice to become a guardian of the person because he loves a house full of kids. Perhaps you wish to appoint someone else to be the guardian of your estate and manage the financial side if they are better with money than your brother.

 

It’s not an easy topic to think about, but if you don’t make a legal plan, and the worst happens, the decision will be in the hands of a total stranger- the judge. Surely you are the most qualified person to decide who gets guardianship of your children.