If you have minor children, the estate planning process will likely involve making arrangements for their care. Part of this will include naming a legal guardian for them in your will.
The legal guardian you choose will step in and take care of your children if something ever happens to you. There are certain considerations you should take into account when identifying a legal guardian for your children as part of the estate planning process.
Identify potential candidates
Only 46% of Americans have created a will, states Forbes, and you may have never thought about naming a guardian for your children before. The first step in this process is identifying potential guardians. Think about close family members and friends who share your values and beliefs.
Assess financial capability
Guardianship is not just about providing love and emotional support; it also involves financial responsibilities. Consider the financial capability of your potential guardians. Will they be able to provide for your children’s basic needs, education and extracurricular activities? A guardian should have the financial stability to ensure your children’s well-rounded development.
Discuss your decision
Once you have identified potential guardians, have open and honest discussions with them. Explain your reasons for choosing them and discuss your expectations regarding your children’s upbringing.
Consider your children’s needs
When making a guardianship decision, consider your children’s needs and preferences. If they are old enough, involve them in the conversation. While the final decision rests with you, knowing your children’s thoughts and feelings can help you make a choice that aligns with their best interests.
Life circumstances can change, and you should review your choice of guardian periodically. Keep your documents up to date and adjust them as needed, especially if your guardian’s circumstances change significantly.