When you create an estate plan, looking after your children’s needs will be a key part.
You have a legal responsibility for them until they turn 18, and if you were to die before they turn 18, they need someone to look after them. They also cannot inherit until that age.
Putting a guardian in place ensures someone can step up and care for them if you were to die or become so severely injured mentally that you cannot. While the other parent would typically do all this, bear in mind that something could happen to both of you simultaneously.
So how do you choose someone for such a crucial task? Here are some tips:
Look at their overall situation
Your brother may be willing, but you might need to look elsewhere if his partner has repeatedly said they hate kids. Or, if you worry their partner has violent tendencies, that too would cause you to look elsewhere. Look at the person’s financial abilities and how much space they have and think about how it would affect any other children they have. You also need to consider their age. For example, your first choice might be your parents, but if they are getting on, they might soon need someone to care for them.
Put measures in place to help them out
Decide how you will help them fund raising your child. You could pass the money directly to them. Or set up a trust stipulating that any funds be used only for the kids. You may even want to put someone different in charge of this.
Once you find someone and get their consent, seek legal help to register your choice in your estate plan.