Appointing guardians for your children may feel like one of the hardest parts of estate planning. How do you decide who to trust with such a responsibility? While you should always discuss the designation with the potential guardian before naming them, there are some things to consider as you narrow down your options.
Evaluate your choices based on functional criteria to give your children the best future possible.
Can they keep up with children?
Look for a guardian who is young enough and healthy enough to safely raise your children, especially if you have small kids. Remember that this is a long-term commitment, so you need a guardian who can keep up with the kids without causing undue strain.
Are they financially and emotionally prepared for children?
Some people choose guardians who already have children of their own to ensure that they can handle the responsibility. Even if you want your children with a childless loved one, consider their financial and emotional development to choose a stable, secure environment.
Do you share the same values?
Most parents instill their personal values in their children in hopes that this shapes their identity. This is not always possible in guardianship situations, but careful selection can help. Choose guardians that share your values if that is an important factor for you.
Appointing guardians to care for your children is an act of great trust. Discuss this designation with your preferred guardians and include an alternate in your estate plan in case your preferred guardians are unable to fulfill the role.