I recently received this email:
I have a new baby and am suddenly realizing that I don’t have a Will. My husband and I really need Wills – but we also really need to pick somebody who could take care of our son if something happened to us. But what do I need to think about to make that decision?
First off, Kim, I’m so glad you’re thinking about this! This is how to be a Good Guardian for your family. It’s never too early – or too late – to get your Wills taken care of and it doesn’t have to be the big hairy monster lurking in the corner. It can be an easy process when someone guides you one question at a time.
It doesn’t matter if you’re picking a guardian for your children or someone to make health care decisions for you – the ways you select this person are the same. Here’s what you need to ask yourself:
- What do I want to count on?
Start off by asking yourself what you really want from this person – without thinking of who that person will or should be. You can’t pick a person if you don’t know what you’re looking for! Brainstorm some adjectives or other qualities to get started.
This can include:
- I want somebody financially stable.
- I want somebody who doesn’t move a lot.
- I want somebody who is responsible and good at making decisions.
- I want somebody who is healthy and active.
All you’re doing here is making the list of what you want!
- Who is the best person For Right Now?
This isn’t a decision that is set in stone – even though it might feel that way! Remember that your Will can (and should!) be updated as circumstances change.
When it comes to who would take the kiddo, your parents might make a lot of sense For Right Now – when the child is still a baby and they’re still young, active, and healthy. And they’re close by! It’s Right for Right Now.
Fast forward 5 or 10 years and you and your parents might be in a very different situation – and somebody else might be the better fit to be Right for Right Now. This is why Good Guardian Plans are meant to be revisited, updated and changed over time. Our lives and circumstances change, so should our Plans.
This advice holds for anyone who will be in charge of executing a Will, Health Care Proxy, Power of Attorney, etc. You pick a person for the role based on the qualities you want in that role – and you might pick one person for each role or one person might fill multiple roles!
But you’re focusing on picking who is Right for Right Now.
Remember, getting your Will, Durable Power of Attorney, and Health Care Proxy in place is a love letter to your family – and you don’t have to have all the answers before you get started! Like I tell my clients, your planning documents are fixable and changeable as life changes! But you can and should be a Good Guardian to your family now.
Promise to protect your family, in writing. Want to take a next step to get unstuck? Hang out with us on a virtual workshop on Tuesday, January 9th at 8 pm. It’s called Finally Get Your Will Done: 5 Steps to Get Started Right Now!
CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS – Take one simple next step to make sure your family is protected.
Oh, and if you’re young AND have children, like Kim G., stop what you’re doing RIGHT NOW and click on that link.