Most parents don't plan on leaving their children before they are adults and able to care for themselves, yet this situation happens to thousands of children each year. When parents pass away or become unable to care for their children, other arrangements have to be made. Of course, as a parent, you want to have complete control over who and where your children go to in the event of your passing. However, without a will designating guardianship, you won't. So what should parents consider when making such an important decision? Well, here's a breakdown of some of the most important factors to consider.
Consider the most likely suspects, i.e., siblings, in-laws, and friends and then compare their parenting style with yours. Do you agree with how they parent their own children? Do you share common beliefs or would they be willing to raise your children as you wished? Are these individuals financially stable? Do they have the resources needed to properly provide for your children and their future? You have obviously thought about the costs of healthcare and college, but what about everyday expenses. They can really add up, and finding someone that has the means to provide for those is crucial.
Losing a parent is one of the most difficult things a child can face. But after the transition has been made to a new home, the last thing your child should have to worry about is losing their guardian too. Consider the age of potential guardians. Are they in good health and young enough that they will be there for your children for a long time?
Making the decision to name a guardian for your children is a huge commitment and should never be taken lightly. Consider all the facts and all your feelings before jumping into anything. If you have more questions about the process of naming a guardian or creating a will, a trusted estate planning attorney can help.