Choosing a Legal Guardian For your Child
Not something we like to think about but is an important part of becoming a parent. In truth, I hadn't created put together a plan for my own children until I had a harsh confrontation with reality. Burying my father I was reminded of the fact that my children would have to bury me one day. Which in truth I prefer instead of the other way around. It’s the natural order of things, something I am slowly coming to accept but on my turns. And by putting my wishes on paper I felt relieved knowing that I had communicated them, in the hopes they'd be honored.
My son is at the time of writing 8 years old and if I happen to die in the next 10 years I want to make sure that the right person is there to guide my child through life teaching them strong norms and values and to be a good person.
The reality is that if something were to happen to you and your partner, you’d want to be sure your children are in the very best hands. That’s why parents should pick a legal guardian — the person who’d raise their child if both parents die before the child turns 18. Don’t feel you’re up to the task? Failing to pick a guardian means the courts will choose one for you — and it may not be the person you think is best. It's important to understand that the guardian will be responsible for the primary care of your child and their finances until they are at least 18.
Here are some things to consider
- Don’t automatically go for a married couple. (they may not stay together)
- Consider values. (Eg; religion etc..)
- Don’t rule out far-flung relatives
- Take age and health into account.
- Take into account finance and family factors.
Once you have chosen your guardian, make sure to ask them before including them in your will because the reality is they might decline to take on the responsibility of caring for a child that is not their own when it becomes time to step up. You may therefore want to consider choosing a co-guardian.
Deciding on Guardianship for Children and Adolescents is something you can change at any time in your will.
When you create your will on Wills.com the option to add a childcare directive comes automatically included in your Will.