No one wants to consider dying before their children reach adulthood, but it is a very real possibility. Making a guardian plan for your children after your death is the best way to make sure they are safe and happy. To start a guardian plan, make a list of possible caregivers.
An older guardian, such as a grandparent, will have life experience and maturity, but may, with aging, become physically unable to attend to younger children. On the other hand, a child who has already reached adulthood may have a very close relationship with your younger children. You must take into account whether or not that older sibling will have enough life experience to provide proper guidance.
Consider what type of lifestyle is important to you. Do you mind if your caregiver is unmarried? Also consider if your choice has other children and if the added responsibility of your own children may be too much.
It would be best if your chosen guardian could step in to raise your children the same way you would, but that may not always be possible. Each person on your guardian list will have a different parenting style and may teach your children different morals and values. If you prefer that your chosen guardian observe a specific religion, you may want to make this a major consideration in your decision.
What if your chosen person has plans to travel around the world? Or what if that person is doubtful of his or her parenting abilities and is therefore unwilling to take the job? When you narrow your list to five choices, you may want to ask each person if they are willing to take the position.
Your child will do best if the guardian is someone with whom he or she already has a close relationship. If you feel your top guardian choice has had limited access to your child, it would be best to start including that person in your child’s life on a regular basis. This could give you a better idea if that person is the right fit.
As you evaluate all of your caregiver options, narrow your list down to two or three choices and rank them. You can use your second and third selections as backup guardians, in case your first choice becomes unavailable.
For more information on the topic, visit our page on our workshop Keep the Inheritance Safe and Secure for the Kids. If you would like to speak with the experts at Anderson, Dorn & Rader for assistance, schedule an appointment!