What to Consider When Selecting a Guardian for Minor Children
If you have minor children, arguably the most important part of your estate plan is the stipulation in which you name the person who will take care of your children if you and the other parent should die while they are still minors. This person is known as the “guardian” of the children.
Most people will pick a trusted family member or close friend to fill this role. But what are some of the factors you should consider in making this decision? Here are a few to take into account.
- Location: Ideally, you’ll have someone who lives at least relatively close by to minimize the extent to which your children’s lives and routines will be uprooted and interrupted. Realistically, though, this isn’t always possible. In addition, you might believe certain places might not be good for your children. This could have to do with the region (an extremely remote area might not have the right kind of schooling you want), the accommodations (a one-bedroom apartment isn’t conducive to multiple children) or other factors associated with their living situation.
- Beliefs: The kinds of religious, political and moral beliefs your guardian has should be as close as possible to yours so you know you will approve of your children’s upbringing.
- Parenting skills: Do you believe your chosen guardian is capable of being a good parent? If they’re not already a parent this can be a little harder to assess, but you can still consider how they were raised and their general attitude toward parenthood and children.
- Financial situation: Does the potential guardian have the financial means to take on your children? You don’t want to bankrupt a friend or relative with your decision. You will probably provide financial assistance for your children’s support after your death from your own resources, but the financial strength of the proposed guardian may still be a consideration.
- Age: An older guardian might be more financially established, but might also be a bit out of touch with today’s parenting trends or may be more likely to have health concerns of their own. But too young, and the guardian might not be prepared or stable in their own life yet.
For more information about selecting a guardian for minor children, contact an experienced Tampa estate planning lawyer at BaumannKangas Estate Law.