Money and other assets are important considerations in the estate planning process, but that’s not all there is to it. In your will, you are also able to name a guardian who can look after your child should something happen to you before they reach adulthood.
This is an essential role, so what’s the best way to choose a guardian? What makes a good child guardian, and what factors may make someone unsuitable? Outlined below are a couple of things to consider.
Are there existing bonds?
In any situation, you want to try and limit the upheaval for the child. Something you may want to consider carefully is whether or not your child already has strong bonds with potential guardians. For example, are they close with other adult family members or friends? Is there an existing family unit that your child could fit into easily if necessary?
The most natural choice for a guardian may be your own parents. After all, they brought you up successfully. However, it’s important to think about the physical toll that parenting can take, particularly regarding young children. If your parents are elderly or have health issues, then being a guardian may simply be too much for them.
Remember, you are not limited to choosing only one guardian. You can name a married couple or even more than one of your siblings. Often, however, it’s recommended that only one person be designated as a legal guardian for a child. You can also change your mind at any time and name someone different than you originally did.
Choosing a guardian for your children will be one of the most important decisions you ever make. Thus, it’s important to conduct due diligence. Once you’ve decided, having legal guidance behind you will help put your wishes into legally binding documents.