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3 things to consider when choosing a guardian for your child

On Behalf of | May 27, 2024 | Family Law |

As a parent, it is crucial you make an estate plan. While every adult should have one, you have your children to think about. If you and their other parent were to die unexpectedly while the kids are still minors, things will take a drastic turn for them.

One of the key tasks to complete is to pick a guardian. This person will take on legal responsibility for raising the children if you die. If only one parent dies, the other usually takes the whole role, but it is best to be prepared in case you both go at once.

Here are some things to think about when choosing a guardian:

Their values

Your parents raised you to be free-thinking and to question authority. Like them, you grew up skeptical of religions. Imagine the shock for your daughters if you died and they suddenly landed up in the care of your only sister who went the other way and takes religion very seriously and holds what you consider a vastly outdated view of a woman’s place in the world.

Their likely availability

Your initial thought might be your parents. They probably hold many of the same values you do, and the kids already know them very well. However, as your children age, so will their grandparents. A 65-year-old looking after a 2-year-old might work well at present, but how would things be when Grandma turns 76 just as your child is entering their potentially rebellious teenage years? Besides, Grandma and Grandad might not be physically or mentally able to care for your kids at that point. They may need someone to look after them.

Their financial standing

Taking on extra children is a massive financial responsibility. Even if you do your best to provide for your children through your estate plan, you still need to consider a person’s economic standing. Someone who is already struggling to feed their own family might not be able to take on the role, even if they would never dream of saying no.

Once you find someone, and get their agreement, the next step is to document your choice in your estate plan in the appropriate manner.