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Choosing the right guardian for your children

On Behalf of | Dec 6, 2023 | Estate Planning

Estate planning largely centers around implementing documentation to ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes. Nonetheless, estate planning is about more than finances and property. You can address your health care wishes, your philanthropic goals and much more.

In your will, you also have the ability to name a legal guardian for your child. This person would have legal responsibility for your child should something happen to you before they become an adult. How do you make sure you’re choosing the right guardian?

Are they fit and healthy?

Caring for a child can be physically demanding. You may want your guardian to be fit and healthy and not much older than you are.

Sometimes, it’s a mistake to name your own parents. While this can be an excellent choice, if your parents are older, they may simply not have the necessary physical capabilities to raise a young child.

Do they already have a bond with the child?

Ideally, your guardian should already have a close bond with the child. For instance, you may want to name a sibling who has young children of a similar age. Alternately, you may have a close friend who is like a family member to your child already. Familiarity brings stability, and this is very important to the upbringing of a child.

Remember, you can (and probably should) name an alternate legal guardian in case your first choice is unable to fulfill the obligation if it’s necessary to do so. Make sure that you discuss the matter with your designated legal guardian and any alternate before you codify your choices. You can also update your choice at any time if you change your mind or circumstances change. It’s wise to have experienced legal guidance as you develop and modify your estate plan over the years.