How to choose a guardian for your child

When you become a parent, you want to do all you can to give your child a good life. You work hard to provide for your child and take time to read to them, play with them and introduce them to some of your favorite activities. At times, life seems to rush by, and you may neglect one task you haven’t completed yet for their well-being: creating a will and choosing a guardian for them.

Yet, how do you choose the right guardian for your child? Here are some important things to consider when choosing a guardian for your child:

  1. If you don’t name a guardian for your child in your will, the State of New York will have the final say on who cares for your child if you pass away before your child is 18.
  2. You want to consider a guardian who would raise your child in a similar manner as you would. Who among your relatives or close friends shares your values? If you want your child to be raised in a home where faith is important, who will raise your child in that faith?
  3. Where do your potential guardians live? Do they have access to quality schools nearby? Would they be willing to relocate to lessen the disruption for your child?
  4. Do your potential guardians have children and are they willing to take on the job of raising another child?
  5. How old are your potential candidates to serve as a guardian for your child? Will they have the energy and stamina it takes to raise a child until your child is 18?
  6. Have you talked with any potential guardians about your wishes and how you want your child to be raised? You want to ensure the person you select as your child’s guardian is willing to take on that responsibility.
  7. You should work with an estate planning attorney to create your will and include your child’s guardian in it. You also should consider establishing a trust for your assets if you pass away. A trust can provide the money your child’s guardian will need to raise your child.

Creating a will and naming a guardian for your child will give you peace of mind about your child’s future. You also will know you have taken care of an important matter: ensuring you have selected someone well-equipped to take on a parenting role for your child if you pass away suddenly.

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