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Choosing a Guardian for your Minor Child

By: Heather Ward, Esq. September 1, 2023 no comments

Choosing a Guardian for your Minor Child

Losing a loved one is never easy, and when it comes to considering your own passing and what that would mean for your minor children, it’s even more difficult. Choosing a guardian for your children is a deeply personal and important decision, one that requires careful consideration and planning. While it’s hard to even think about, taking the time to make this decision now can provide you with peace of mind knowing that your children will be cared for in the best possible way if the worst was to happen.

  1. Reflect on Your Own Values:

Before you start considering potential guardians, take some time to reflect on your beliefs, values, and priorities. What kind of upbringing do you want for your children? What values and principles are important to you? This will help you identify the type of person or family who aligns with your ideals and can provide a nurturing environment for your children.

Additionally, you’ll want to consider your own parenting style and the type of parenting you would like your children to experience if you were not around. Are you more inclined towards a structured approach or a more relaxed one? Do you value discipline, creativity, or a balance of both? Identifying a guardian with a parenting style that closely matches your own can ensure a smoother transition for your children.

  1. Assess Practical Considerations:

Practical considerations play a vital role in the decision-making process. Where does the potential guardian live? Is their home in a safe and suitable environment for raising children? Do they already have children? Do they have the financial stability to provide for your children’s needs? What is their age and energy level like? Assessing these factors will help ensure that your children’s everyday needs will be met.

  1. Emotional Bond and Relationship:

Consider the emotional bond between your children and the potential guardian. Do they have a close relationship already? Choosing someone who is familiar to your children can ease the transition and provide them with a sense of stability during a difficult time.

  1. Communication and Willingness:

Having an honest conversation with potential guardians is critical. While you may have someone in mind, it’s crucial to discuss this responsibility with them to be sure they are willing and able to take on the role. Raising children is a huge commitment, and they should be fully prepared to accept the responsibilities that come with it.

Other Important Considerations

Temporary Guardians: Sometimes, the person you’ve named as the guardian is unable to quickly reach your minor child in the event of an emergency, such as being away on vacation or living in another state. Because of this, it’s crucial to also name multiple temporary guardians who can quickly take custody of your children until the permanent guardian is able to arrive.

Consider naming a different person to oversee your child’s inheritance: We often see conflict arising when a child grows up and thinks that their guardian did not use their inheritance in a way they would have liked. Naming a separate trustee or guardian of the property to handle the money while someone else can focus on raising your child is something to consider.

Backups: Life is unpredictable, and circumstances can change unexpectedly. Because of this, we always recommend that you name backups.

Selecting a guardian for your minor children is an emotional process, but it’s also an act of love and responsibility. By considering all of these points, you can make an informed decision that provides comfort and security, knowing that your children will be cared for by someone who shares your values and will provide them with a loving and supportive home.

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