Choosing The Right Guardian For Your Child

An important part of drawing up your will is deciding who will have guardianship of your child. Otherwise, if the worst happens, the courts will decide guardianship, and your child may end up with someone you would not have intended. Here are some things to consider, when determining guardianship for your child.

Practical Considerations

Begin with the practical. Who will be able to raise your child? Some lifestyles are simply not conducive to raising a child. For example, you may have a friend who is not financially, emotionally, or physically able to look after your child. The person must be of sound mind and should not have to move your child around too frequently. Ideally, the guardian should live close by. 

Think about your parenting style and who in your life may be able to parent most closely to you. Think about your religious beliefs and values and who has similar beliefs and values, or who you believe may promote these beliefs and values on your behalf. 

If the person you are considering has other children, you may think that he or she would be a good fit. However, your child might not get along with the children of their new guardian, and your child might get lost in a larger family of children.

Asking the Guardian

After you have narrowed down your list of potential guardians, you will want to ask them how they would feel about being a guardian. Do not put pressure on them, because you do not want to consider someone who would feel burdened by your child.

Time Frame

If you are unsure whether someone would be appropriate as a guardian, you could always have them designated as a guardian for a set time period. For instance, a guardian could be in charge of caring for your child until he or she is 10-years-old. Then, the guardian could be changed to someone else. 

Estate Planning

After you have decided who will have guardianship, you should work with an estate planning attorney who will not only make sure that your will is realized, but will also make sure that your life insurance payouts are distributed in the manner that you intended. 

Make sure to follow-up with your decision every year. Make sure that you still agree with this individual as a guardian, and contact estate planning services, if you change your mind.

For more information, talk to companies like Thomason & Hessmer.

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