Imagine that your brother has recently passed away and you are notified that you have been named as the guardian of your brother's teenage son. Acting as the guardian of the teenager, will not cost you anything as the estate will supply all of the funds. However, you will need to relocate to care for the child.
None of this was communicated to you by your brother beforehand.
This is the actual beginning of the plot in an Oscar nominated movie that is currently in theaters, Manchester By the Sea. While this might make for great Hollywood drama, it does not make for the best estate planning, as The Spectator points out in "'Who gets the kids if we die?' Planning for the unthinkable."
Planning to nominate the guardians for your minor child should something to happen to you, must be undertaken carefully. For obvious reasons, it is very important that you consider your options.
The guardian you choose should be emotionally and financially secure, so he or she can handle the difficulties of suddenly rearing an orphan.
It is also extremely important that the guardian not be surprised by your decision after you pass away. You need to choose someone who is willing to take on the responsibility.
Talk to your first choice for a guardian and make sure that he or she is ready to act in the role.
In the movies things might work out well when that is not done, but that is not always the case in real life here in Cincinnati.
Remember: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” When making your estate plans or when probating an estate or administering a trust, do not go it alone. Be sure to engage a Cincinnati estate planning attorney.
For more information about estate planning, probate or trust administration in Cincinnati (and throughout the rest of Southwest Ohio) and to review free resources regarding estate planning, probate or trust administration, visit my website. If you have questions regarding this article or a particular legal matter, feel free to contact me at 513-399-PLAN (7526).
Reference: The Spectator (Jan. 31, 2017) "'Who gets the kids if we die?' Planning for the unthinkable."