You have an estate plan and your will identifies the guardians you have chosen for your children. These trusted people might also be successor trustees, so they know when and under what circumstances your children will receive their inheritance. But do they know about your family traditions? Do they know who to turn to navigate enrolling for public school in San Francisco, or where to go for piano lessons, or that you really want your children to spend time with your close friends – do they have contact information for your close friends?
When my husband and I worked with our estate planning attorney many years ago, he gave us a five-page form to fill out. We listed our preferences for education and religion and stated our preferences on where our children should live and who should be provided updates on their lives and wellbeing. In my own practice, I have used that form as a starting point, and I ask my clients to write about their traditions and values and identify loved ones the guardians can count on for support and guidance. This eight-page form works with the revocable trust to provide a mission and vision for your children. Your goals are clearly stated, and the important things are funded through your trust.
I would love to work with you on crafting your own personalized guardianship nomination form that lists an interim guardian (that person who knows your child’s teachers and friends, who knows your home and knows your routine), lists back-up guardians, and allows you to provide concrete information and guidance for the people who might someday take care of the people you love the most.Published in