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How can you choose a guardian for your children?

On Behalf of | Jan 12, 2024 | Estate Planning - Guardianships & Conservatorships

When you create your will, you have the opportunity to name a legal guardian for any minor children you have. If you passed away, this person would assume legal responsibility for your children.

Selecting a guardian for your children is an important decision that requires careful thought and consideration. This process involves contemplating various factors to ensure the well-being and happiness of your children in the event of unforeseen circumstances.

Values and beliefs

According to CNBC, 67% of Americans have yet to put together an estate plan and name a guardian for their children. When choosing a guardian, consider shared values and beliefs. The designated guardian should align with your principles, parenting philosophy and overall approach to raising children. This ensures continuity in the moral and ethical upbringing of your children.

Stability and reliability

Stability and reliability are key attributes in a potential guardian. Assess his or her ability to provide a secure home environment, both emotionally and financially. A stable household ensures that your children experience minimal disruption during a challenging time.

Willingness to assume responsibility

The willingness of the designated guardian to assume the responsibility of caring for your children is important. Open and honest discussions about this commitment are essential to ensure that the chosen guardian is fully prepared for the role.

Proximity and accessibility

Consider the geographical proximity of the potential guardian. While it is not mandatory for the guardian to live nearby, his or her accessibility should be realistic.

Parenting experience

While parenting experience is beneficial, it is not the sole determinant. A caring individual willing to learn and adapt can be an excellent guardian. Assess his or her capacity to handle the challenges of parenting and provide a nurturing environment for your children.

Health and age

Evaluate the health and age of the potential guardian. While age alone should not disqualify someone, his or her overall health and energy levels should align with the needs of raising children.

Choosing a guardian is not a one-time decision. Life circumstances change, and you should periodically review and update your choice. Stay informed about the willingness and ability of the designated guardian, making adjustments as needed to reflect the best interests of your children.