If you are a parent, you most likely considered or worried about what would happen to your children if you were no longer able to care for them. Choosing a guardian for minor children can be a difficult and complicated process. You will want to choose the best possible person to care for your kids if you cannot, but you may not find an individual that fits all your specifications. Here are some tips to help make the process of choosing a guardian easier.
Where Does the Potential Guardian Live?
It is likely that your children will go to live with your chosen guardian, so you should think about where the potential guardian lives. If you are okay with your children being raised there, you may feel comfortable naming that person as a guardian. If not, find another individual.
What are Your Potential Guardian’s Personal Views?
If you hold specific religious, political, or moral beliefs, you may want to choose a guardian whose beliefs align with yours. Discuss their beliefs with them and decide if they are likely to raise your children in a manner you find acceptable.
Does the Potential Guardian Have Strong Parenting Skills?
Your children will need someone to raise them well, and your potential choice of guardian should have the knowledge and skills to do so. If they are a parent, are they hands-on with their own children? Do they have the time and energy to devote to your children? What are their views on education, discipline, and school activities such as sports? If they are not already a parent, talk to them about how they were raised, as this is likely to influence their parenting style.
How Old is the Potential Guardian?
There are pros and cons to both older and younger guardians. Older guardians may be in a better financial position to raise your children and may be able to spend more time with them, but they may not be as in touch with current parenting trends or what kids like. Younger guardians can be more energetic and in touch with trends, but they may lack the time or financial resources to care for your children. If your potential guardian is an adult sibling of your minor children, they may also be in a poor position to care for their siblings.
What is the Family Situation of the Potential Guardian?
Your potential guardian’s family situation can heavily influence their ability to care for your children. If they are a young parent or have a large family, they may not have as much time for your children. If they are married, is their marriage stable? If they are unmarried, is there a partner that will also have contact with your children? If they have children, how do they compare in age to your children? Ask these questions and decide if their family situation will be beneficial for your children.
What is the Financial Situation of Your Potential Guardian?
Finances will have a big impact on the ability of your choice’s ability to care for your children. If they are not financially stable, do not have the disposable income to add new members to their family, or don’t live in a large enough home, they may not be a good fit for your needs. Talk with your potential guardian about their ability to care for your children.
Is Your Potential Guardian Willing to Care for Your Children?
After you have narrowed your choices, you should talk with your potential choice for your children’s guardian about their willingness to care for your children. If they are not willing or feel that they are not capable of caring for your children, find another person to take on the role.
Your children’s safety and well-being should be of the utmost importance, so it is crucial to ensure they’ll have a loving home if you pass away. Our Phoenix estate planning attorneys can help you ensure that your choice for your children’s guardian is honored in the event of your death. At Taylor & Lihn, PLLC, we are committed to offering our clients personalized, compassionate legal service for all their estate planning needs, including decisions regarding an appropriate guardian for your children. Contact our firm by calling (602) 900-9860 to request a no-cost case evaluation.