When making considerations for your estate plan, do not forget to designate a guardian.
This often overlooked but incredibly important aspect of planning will benefit you in the event of a major illness or injury.
Why you need one
Life’s unpredictability means most people have no idea what their health or physical wellness will look like in the future. Because of this uncertainty, preparing for worst-case scenarios is a good idea. An estate plan can include the designation of a guardian, whose responsibilities would include making decisions regarding your health and care, or decisions regarding your estate.
Who to choose
The person you choose should be someone you trust to respect your wishes and represent you in the event you become incapacitated. Your guardian will need to have integrity and compassion, and should ideally be someone with whom you share a healthy bond. This person will be responsible for many aspects of your life and care, so keep that in mind when making your choice.
How to prepare
Your estate plan will go a long way in ensuring your guardian knows of your wishes. Establishing this document ahead of time will remove much of the stress surrounding decision-making. Be clear and specific about your wishes. Include short-term and long-term care preferences, as well as details regarding how to care for your home and belongings.
You can make an effort to prepare for the unexpected. Think about what tasks and responsibilities you may be unable to perform, and include instructions on how your guardian should complete them.