Estate Planning Lawyer
Naming a guardian for minor children is one of the most important decisions a person makes when state planning. These are the most crucial factors to consider when choosing who will raise your children.
Maturity and Experience
A person with whom you are close may not necessarily be the best person to raise your children. Reliable people you can count on to provide appropriate oversight and honor your wishes concerning your children’s education, living standard and parenting philosophy are the best candidates.
You probably don’t want to add a financial burden to someone’s life and prefer to choose a guardian who is financially solvent. If someone presents as the perfect candidate to raise your child, don’t let finances be the overriding criterion as long as they don’t create hardship. You can contribute financial support with funds from an irrevocable trust designated for your children’s care.
You may want your child raised within a particular religious faith. The best way to ensure this is to choose a guardian who actively practices the same faith. Ideally, the guardian you select will also satisfy other criteria, but, if not, you can designate godparents or individuals charged explicitly with your child’s religious instruction.
Age and Health
Caring for your child is a long-term commitment. It is necessary to choose someone who can comfortably manage this responsibility’s physical aspects until your child reaches adulthood. If you have very young children, consider someone with a satisfactory level of energy.
If your child is school-aged and you think it would be disruptive to switch schools or neighborhoods, consider a permanent guardian close to where you live. Although location is a valid consideration, it should be a secondary concern if other criteria do not match up.
If you are unable to select one person or family, consider several people to help raise your children. For example, your child can live with a family that offers consistent care and stability while someone else manages the details of your child’s trust. Still, another person might provide religious instruction.
Maintaining an Open Mind
Thoughtfully choosing a guardian means keeping an open mind to avoid making rash decisions. By staying open to marital status, gender, race or other attributes, you have the best chance of selecting a suitable guardian.
If you cannot raise your children, a will that names guardians can avoid having the court to decide for you. Speaking with an experienced estate planning lawyer, like from the Yee Law Group, can help guide your decision.