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Modern Estate Planning Blog

Elder Law & Special Needs Planning

How to Tell Grandma That Someone Else Will Be Your Child’s Guardian | Folsom Will Lawyer

December 14, 2017

If you have minor children, one of the most critical parts of your estate plan will be appointing a guardian to take care of them if something should happen to you. If you are lucky, you and your spouse have several great relatives to choose from. You ultimately need to make a decision of who you trust to raise them based on your values and other issues that matter to you.

However, a family member who is not chosen for this important job might feel hurt. This can be particularly painful to grandparents who naturally expect to be called upon in emergency circumstances. But it is important to think of the well-being of your children rather than the feelings of your parents when selecting the people who will raise your kids if you are unable to.

Here’s a bit of advice for breaking the news if grandma is not your final choice.

Be confident in your decision, yet compassionate during the conversation. Don’t deviate from your plan no matter how emotional the conversation gets. It helps to emphasize how valued and important grandma is in your life and the lives of the children.

You can further explain your choice by highlighting the strengths of your chosen guardian.  Tell how your choice of guardian will benefit and enrich your children’s lives if you could not be there—while explaining to grandma that you would still want her to be apart of their upbringing.  That allows you to put aside personal tensions, keeping the conversation positive rather than allowing an argument to erupt.

Remind grandma that this plan will probably never have to be put into place. It is highly unlikely that both parents will die before their children reach adulthood. As a parent, it is your job to prepare for all scenarios and naming a guardian for your children fulfills the responsibility to protect them should the worst happen.

This is a sometimes a tough conversation to have, but, if done well, you can move beyond it and grandma can continue be an important part of your children’s lives without feeling hurt or slighted.  If you are still struggling to have this conversation, don’t be afraid to ask your Folsom will lawyer for help.  Our attorneys have had this conversation countless times with family members and we are here to help you tackle tough conversations you may need to have with your loved ones.  To schedule a consultation to work through such planning issues, contact our office at (916) 241-9661.

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Thanks for holding my hand. So glad you made things easier for me. I really don't know how I would have understood any of this without your knowledge.

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