New Movie Brings Estate Planning to Light

An Oscar-nominated movie has brought to many parents' attention, the uncomfortable question of what will happen to their children after they pass away.

Imagine that your brother has recently passed away and you are notified that you have been named as the guardian of your brother's teenage son. Acting as the guardian of the teenager will not cost you anything as the estate will supply all of the funds.  However, you will need to relocate to care for the child.

None of this was communicated to you by your brother beforehand.

This is the actual beginning of the plot in an Oscar-nominated movie that is currently in theaters, Manchester By the Sea. While this might make for great Hollywood drama, it does not make for the best estate planning, as The Spectator points out in "'Who gets the kids if we die?' Planning for the unthinkable."

Planning to nominate the guardians for your minor child should something to happen to you, must be undertaken carefully. For obvious reasons, you must consider your options.

The guardian you choose should be emotionally and financially secure, so he or she can handle the difficulties of suddenly rearing an orphan.

It is also extremely important that the guardian not be surprised by your decision after you pass away. You need to choose someone willing to take on responsibility.

Talk to your first choice for a guardian and make sure that he or she is ready to act in the role.

In the movies, things might work out well when that is not done, but that is not always the case in real life.

Reference: The Spectator (Jan. 31, 2017) "'Who gets the kids if we die?' Planning for the unthinkable."

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