If a parent passes away, the minor children are not going to magically be able to take care of themselves. That only happens on TV and in movies. It is also not an automatic guarantee that a family member will be able to adequately care for the minor children.
Consequently, parents must make proper plans for the care of their minor children if something happens to the parents.
How is that planning done? In an estate plan.
Recently, Forbes posted some estate planning considerations for parents in "Will Your Estate Plan Truly Take Care of Your Kids?" including:
Figure out who you would want to be the guardian for your children. It should be someone who is capable, financially trustworthy and willing to care for your children.
Think about how your children will be able to survive financially. You might consider purchasing life insurance or setting up a trust.
If you do leave money for your children, make sure your designated guardian has the ability to manage that money.
Ask if your designated guardian has ever filed for bankruptcy. If they have, they might not be eligible to be the guardian as they might be unable to get bonded for it.
If your children have special needs, make sure the guardian knows how to handle those needs.
Ask if an out-of-state guardian might move to your state. Doing so could lessen the disruption in the lives of your children.
A qualified estate planning attorney can help you navigate these key consideration and others.
Reference: Forbes (June 27, 2016) "Will Your Estate Plan Truly Take Care of Your Kids?"