Should the unthinkable happen, you want to rest assured that minor children in your care have a kind and loving guardian to take over parental duties. As explained by U.S. News & World Report, selecting a guardian is a major aspect of estate planning, one that parents must approach carefully.
Without a guardian in place, the court will decide who gets custody of your children after you are gone. While the court makes these decisions with the best interests of the child in mind, most parents prefer to make the selection on their own.
Types of guardianship
A guardian of the estate has authority over a child’s inheritance until the child is of legal age. This entails financial responsibility, like account management, paying bills, reporting to the court, and other duties that ensure a child’s finances are well protected. A guardian of a person takes a hands-on approach to child-rearing, meaning they will provide essential daily care.
Qualities to look for in the guardian you choose
Because there is so much at stake when it comes to the care of your child, you must select a guardian very carefully. Guardians of the estate should exhibit good management of their own finances, which ensures they will exhibit responsibility in managing your child’s accounts. The person should also have good organizational abilities, which is important for keeping track of accounts and important documents.
When looking for a committed caretaker for your child, the person should hold similar thoughts and beliefs regarding child-rearing. The person must also have sufficient time to devote to raising a child, which is a full-time job. Their proximity to your home is another factor to consider.
In addition to your first selection, consider naming backup guardians just in case the first choice is unavailable. You must also speak with the people you choose prior to making their guardianship official. Raising a child is a major responsibility, so you must verify that the person is up for the task first.