Should You Tell People That You Do Not Want Them as Guardians?, Elder Law Attorney, Woodstock, GA

Most people fret over who to appoint as the guardians of their minor children in the event that the parents pass away. One of the problems that people worry about is the impact it will have on those who might have been expecting to become the guardians, but who are not chosen.

The most important part of the wills for parents of minor children sets out who should be appointed as guardians of those children. It is often an agonizing decision.

Parents do not want to contemplate not being around to rear their own children.

They also do not want to choose between relatives to raise the children. It can feel like those relatives who are not chosen are being rejected and insulted. Parents do not want to leave those relatives with lingering hurt feelings.

The Washington Post, in a recent article titled Carolyn Hax: Should couple explain to kin their will’s directive on guardianship?,” has a discussion over whether relatives who are not chosen as the potential guardian should be told that and the reasoning why.

It is an interesting discussion.

On the one hand, not telling them could lead to family feuds and hurt feelings when and if they later find out. On the other hand, telling them could lead to hurt feelings and feuds now. This is a situation where there is not necessarily a right answer that is generally applicable.

What to do depends on the individuals involved.

The article does make one very important point, however. Anyone who is chosen to be a guardian of minor children should be told beforehand.

Before making an estate plan that nominates someone for guardianship of minor children, it is important to make sure that the potential guardian is willing to do the job. An experience estate planning attorney can assist you every step of the way.

Reference: The Washington Post (October 29, 2014) Carolyn Hax: Should couple explain to kin their will’s directive on guardianship?

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