Although it’s a difficult decision to make, choosing a legal guardian for one’s minor children should be a top priority. In the unfortunate event that a parent is no longer able to take care of their kids, their estate planning documents will tell the court who should take over those responsibilities. Otherwise, it will be left up to a judge to determine who should raise them—and it might not be someone you wanted for the role. However, what qualities should you be looking for in that person? The guide below explores some of the most crucial.
What to Look for in a Guardian
1. Good Physical & Mental Health
Your children’s guardian should be someone who is in good condition—both physically and mentally. After all, it takes energy and a lot of thought to take care of young ones. Additionally, after the trauma of losing their parent, you want to reduce the risk that they’ll lose a guardian a second time.
2. Shared Values
What kind of person do you hope your kids will someday be? Traits like kindness, intelligence, and congeniality are universally-respected virtues that should be looked for in a role model for your children. However, you might also want someone who will pass on similar religious or political beliefs. It’s worth asking any loved one you are considering for the appointment about the details of their value system or their thoughts on different parenting styles.
3. Financial Stability
Legally, a guardian is not personally reasonable for the financial needs of their ward. However, unless you’re able to provide substantial financial assets to your chosen caretakers in your estate planning documents to cover all the children’s needs, their guardian may feel responsible to do so. Raising children can be costly, and you don’t want them or their caretakers to experience hardship if it can be avoided.
Whether you’re just beginning the estate planning process or need to update your current will to reflect your choice for guardianship, David R. Webb, Attorney at Law can guide you through the steps. He will help put your final wishes in writing and ensure your paperwork is properly executed so it stands up in court. Offering more than 30 years of legal experience, he has worked with countless clients in and around Lincoln, NE, to plan a secure future for their loved ones. Call (402) 477-7577 to schedule a consultation or visit his website to learn more about the estate planning services he provides.