Choosing a guardian is one of the more difficult decisions associated with estate planning, but it’s one that you can’t afford to put off. You hate to think about the potential of passing on before your children reach the age of 18, but it’s the responsible thing to do.
The manner in which you choose a guardian depends on a variety of factors, including the relationships you have with your family and friends. If you need a push in the right direction, here are some tips that can help.
- Make a list: Forget about naming a guardian for the meantime. Right now, all you want to do is create a list of potential candidates. Think about the people who are closest to you and your children. Don’t worry about how long your list is at this point. You’re simply using it as a jumping off point.
- Decide what’s most important to you: This varies from person to person. Maybe you’re most interested in finding a loved one who spends a lot of time with your children already. Or perhaps you’re more focused on someone who has the same parenting style as you. And of course, you may want to consider the person’s financial circumstances.
- Have a conversation: Once you have an idea of who you want to name, it’s time to reach out to that person to gauge their interest. It’s okay if your first choice turns you down. Don’t take it personally. Some people just aren’t cut out for such a big responsibility. If that happens, you can begin to move through your list from top to bottom.
When creating an estate plan, naming a guardian for any children under the age of 18 should be at the top of your priority list. Should you have questions about how to get started, contact our law firm for professional advice.