ONE Sports PowerPlay Blog

Guardianship for Minor Children

In the time I have been doing the Estate planning at ONE Sports, I would say the biggest factor in delaying the creation of a will centres around the decision of who to appoint as guardian for minor children in the event of a tragic accident where both parents are no longer around. As a parent, you want to be sure that the best possible person(s) is ready and willing to step in to continue raising your child/children.

I have an article posted on our website (and that I send out to our clients with children when we begin the planning process) so won’t regurgitate everything here; but I will cover off the necessary areas and encourage you to read the larger piece entitled “What you need to know about choosing a Guardian for your Children”.

You, and your spouse, are in the best position to know intimately the different nuances of your kids, and who they would best respond to should this situation arise. Don’t forget, there will be a lot of confusion and noise surrounding the immediate days following any trauma of this magnitude and, depending on the age of the child/children, the focus will be to provide some stability and comfort for them. But there will come a time, very quickly in fact, when getting back to some semblance of normal living will be imperative. So, your choice on the eventual home for the kids should be something thought out and decided well in advance. I have laid out several points to consider in the article on our website but will concentrate on the two issues I have spent the most time on with my clients.

In considering the final decision of guardian, many times I have had the discussion of whether grandma and grandpa would be the best choice. While your parents may in fact tick off a lot of those boxes I outline as important considerations, my experience is that most of those parents are aged 50 or over. In the case of very young children especially, moving to grandma’s and grandpa’s full time may not be the best or wisest choice. If you have a current will in place but have not updated it in more than 5 years, it may be prudent to revisit the choices you made for guardianship back then to ensure they are still relevant today.

The second issue I want to highlight is addressing that decision once made. Some clients have chosen a sibling, many times over one or several other possible sibling choices on either side of the family. The question then becomes what do I tell the others who I have not chosen? My answer, more often than not, is … nothing. It is much more important and relevant that the individual(s) you have chosen are aware of your intentions and are willing to accept and take on that role. It’s always best to avoid any surprises once you are no longer alive to mediate, and certainly best to avoid any instance where the courts step in to make a decision as to who will raise your children. The hope would be that, for the consideration of the children in this obvious time of stress and tumult, the decisions that you made and in the formal will document will be respected.

Taking the steps to finally get that will document in place, or to update older documents, is vital to overall financial health, and a major part of the Pro’s Process. Don’t let the decision on who to choose as guardian for your children delay the process any longer. And, as always, ONE Sports and Entertainment stands in your corner ready to work through any of those major decisions with you.