A legal guardian is someone who is designated to take care of your child in case both you and the other parent of your child were to die before your child reaches adulthood. Yes, that’s a terrible scenario to think about, but unfortunately it’s a genuine possibility. Because of this potential life scenario choosing a guardian for your child is one of the most important decisions you need to make for your estate plan. And if you don’t put your decision in writing in your will or in a declaration of guardian, then the court would end up choosing who the guardian should be, which could possibly be a bad decision for your child’s welfare.
Here are some things to consider when selecting a guardian:
Do you think the person would have an appropriate parenting style for your child?
Are the person’s religious beliefs, moral values, educational values and goals similar to yours?
If someone you are considering is older, do you think they would have the physical health and stamina it takes to raise a child?
If someone already has their own children, would your child be a good fit as far as age and personality?
Where does the person live? Is it close enough to other important people in your child’s life?
Although people usually choose a family member to be the guardian of their child, sometimes a friend would be a better choice. It’s best to keep an open mind.
When you come up with a possible choice or two definitely talk with them about the possibility of being named as the guardian of your child. Those conversations can be very helpful in making your final decision.