Choosing a guardian for your children should be undertaken with care and caution. While you want the best for your loved ones, you also want to make sure it’s a choice that’s right for everyone involved.
Selecting a guardian depends a lot on the needs of the ward. In case of children, some of the factors include:
- Number of children under the age of majority. Make sure you name all of your children in your will. Don’t automatically think that setting aside a will or estate plan for one will allow the court to make the same arrangements for the rest.
- Living arrangements. If you want your kids to stay together, then you must put this in writing in your will.
- Competent guardian. Can the guardian you chose handle all your kids and provide for their needs, financially and emotionally?
- Co-guardians. If you have two guardians in mind or want your kids raised by a couple—like your brother and sister-in-law, for instance—then make them co-guardians in your will.
- Age of the guardian. Designating your parents as guardians for your kids might not be wise. You’ll need to factor in their health. If your kids are near the age of majority, though, that’s an arrangement that could work out. For smaller kids, not so much.
A guardian must be able to handle the financial, emotional ,and mental responsibilities that come with taking care of kids. From ensuring their personal care, emotional well-being, and security, to managing your kids’ assets or finances till they come of age, guardians can provide your kids with the love and assistance they need growing up.
Hire a family law attorney to help you sort this out, says Fay, Farrow & Associates. With legal assistance, you’ll know if you’re drawing up trusts and guardianship plans compliant with local laws that are right for you and your kids.