Choosing a guardian for your child is difficult. The process is more than just a legal decision, it is full of emotion. It is often tempting to delay the conversation — especially when everyone is young and in good health. However, as noted in our last post, an estate plan is important for everyone, even young families. This decision is more than just a box to check off a to-do list, it is an important step towards ensuring the future well being of your family.
You can ease the process by focusing on these three questions:
- What is your parenting style? Parents can begin the process with a discussion of parenting style or goals before selecting an individual or individuals to fill this role. Do you want your children to grow up in an urban or rural environment? Do you want a focus on a certain set of morals or a religious affiliation? The answers to these questions may narrow down your options for guardian candidates.
- Do you prefer to keep it in the family? State law does not require you choose a family member to serve as a guardian. A guardian can be a close relative, friend or other individual you deem appropriate for the task.
- Is the person up for the job? Reach out to a chosen individual and ask permission before making it official.
Have documents drafted to make the decision official. It is wise to seek legal counsel to complete this task, as an attorney experienced in these matters can better ensure the documents are tailored to your needs.