If you are the parent of a dependent child or children, you have a responsibility that most parents don’t like to think about.  That responsibility is to make a decision about who will finish the job of raising your children in the unlikely event that you are unable to do so.

Nobody likes to think about dying, and some of us fear that talking about tragedies increases the likelihood of their occurrence.  Of course, that isn’t true, but it’s still no fun to think about unpleasant events.  If you have never thought about or discussed with your spouse or family  the matter of who will raise your children if you can’t, you need to set aside some time to do just that.

Some believe that without a Last Will and Testament, upon their death, their children would be made wards of the state and would be placed in foster care.  After doing a bit of research for this post, I can tell you that in most cases, that does not happen.  If both parents precede a child or children in death, usually the dependent children are turned over to a family member.   The only problem is that the parents who are gone will have no input as to which family member fills their parental role.

I urge all parents to, first of all, think about which family members or friends you would want to serve as your children’s guardians if you were not here.  Things to consider are age, health, and values of those you might be considering.  It’s vital that you ask permission of the person or persons you want to name as potential guardians.  It would be best to consult an attorney to verify the laws in your state and to make sure that your wishes will be carried out in regard to your children’s future.

The odds are that you will safely see your children through to adulthood, but this is one case where you don’t want to depend on the odds.

Please stay tuned to My Grandma Knows.  I promise that my next post will be lighthearted and happy!