When making an estate plan, if you are a parent with a child who is still a minor, part of the process may include choosing a guardian. If you pass away unexpectedly, you know that the guardian is ready to step into a more parental role and raise your child. This can help to streamline the process and avoid disputes, and it also allows you to choose the specific individual you would like.
But how do you choose? Here are a few things to look for when selecting a guardian.
Similar values and goals
First off, you want to find someone who is going to raise the children in a similar environment to you. They have similar values and the same general goals for the children’s future – valuing college education, for instance, or raising the children in a healthy and happy home.
Don’t forget that raising a child is very expensive. You need to choose someone who has the financial ability to take on this extra expense and responsibility. It’s especially important to consider this if the individual you are thinking about already has a family of their own. This can put a strain on their finances, perhaps making it impossible for them to take on yet another child.
Parenting styles and abilities
Finally, look for someone who has a similar parenting style to you. It’s important to consider stability for your children. You don’t want them to suddenly feel like they are in a very different environment or that different things are expected of them. Ideally, the guardian will raise them in the same way that you would have done so yourself.
Creating your estate plan
Selecting the right guardian is just the first step in this process. If you’re making an estate plan and adding a guardian, make sure you know exactly what legal steps to take.