Don't Be Anna - Name Guardians for Minor Children
Category: Estate Planning
Continuting our series of what we can learn from the Anna Nicole Smith situation, she did not name a Guardian for her daughter. Putting the unique questions of paternity aside, this case highlight why all parents must have Wills.
I have said it before, but it bears repeating - If you have minor children, you MUST HAVE A WILL TO NAME GUARDIANS IF YOU DIE. If you do not have a Will, you HAVE NO GUARDIANS.
General statistics say 7 out of 10 people don't have a Will. The reason I most frequently hear when I ask why people don't have a Will at semiars: "I don't have enough assets." My response: "Do you have children?" Because if you do, the Will is the only place that you can name a Guardian. The reason I most frequently hear about why there is no Guardian: "We can't decide between Relative A and Relative B." While this is a hard decision, as parents it is one you need to make. If you can't decide, you expect a judge who doesn't know you, your family, your children or your value to make a better decision? And, if you are concerned enough that your children aren't raised by Relative A, shouldn't you make provisions so that can't happen? Putting it in the hands of a court is like playing roulette with your children's rearing. A clear case of "Don't Be Anna".
Labels: Estate Planning