One of the important estate planning actions that parents of young children need to do is name a guardian. This is the person who would raise the children in the event both parents died before the children turned 18.
Although it is important, it is not an easy task. When choosing a guardian, there are some factors the parents should consider.
1. Similar goals and values
According to FindLaw, the guardian you choose should have a similar parenting style to yours and share similar values and goals for your child. The person should also have good character and be someone who is trustworthy to make decisions that are in the best interest of the child.
2. Financial stability
You should name a guardian that has the financial means to not only raise a child but also provide a life that you would want your child to experience.
3. Limited upending of the child’s life
Losing both parents is hard enough. To minimize the emotional and mental anguish, it helps to choose someone who would be able to minimize changes to the child’s current living situation. Ideal characteristics of a guardian are one who already lives in the area, is willing to keep the child’s schedule as similar as possible and is someone the child already knows and loves.
The named guardian should be someone young enough to be able to raise a child until he or she turns 18. The individual should also be in good physical and mental health.
5. Multiple guardians
U.S. News and World Report discusses that there are two types of guardians: Estate and person. A guardian of the estate manages and safeguards the child’s inheritance. Although you can name one person to play both guardian roles, many parents name separate people for the guardianships.