Designating a Legal Guardian for your Minor Children

3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Choosing a Guardian

As a parent, it’s hard to imagine your children growing up without you. But, since your children depend on you to protect them under all circumstances, it’s vital that parents think about the worst case scenarios. That means selecting a guardian for your children, in the unlikely event that something happens to you or your spouse. To help simplify the decision, here are a few questions to ask when choosing a guardian.

1. Are they willing and able to take on the responsibility?

While this may seem like an obvious question, it’s important to choose someone who will be up for the task. For example: you want your parents to be your childrens’ guardians, but will they be physically and mentally up to the challenge of raising young children? Make sure that you have a conversation with whomever you select to be the guardian to ensure that they are willing and able to take on the responsibility.

2. Would my children have to move to live with their new guardian?

Following a traumatic experience like losing their parents, maintaining certain consistencies in your children’s’ lives is critical. The Balance lists this as their top priority of things to consider when choosing a guardian. You don’t want your children to have to go through any further dramatic changes after losing their parents, and that’s why it is best to choose someone who lives close by. The stress associated with starting over at a new school and trying to make new friends is something you’ll want to avoid at all costs.

3. What is their financial situation?

While your children will have some financial security thanks to your carefully mapped out estate plan, the guardian you choose will ideally be stable from a career and income standpoint. Also think about the potential guardian’s spending habits. Are they responsible with their money? This is important because they will have access to portions of the estate you’ve left for your children. Regardless of the circumstances, it’s a good idea to appoint a custodian trustee, to manage your children’s trust, so there isn’t a conflict of interest.

As a parent, the importance of estate planning is endless. Along with securing your finances, choosing a guardian is the most important decision parents with minor children can make. Yes, these three questions provide a starting point, but there are other elements of the decision process you may want to consider. That’s why we’re here. Contact us today – we’ll make sure the process is as seamless as possible.

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