Experiencing major life changes means modifying your estate plan. When becoming a new parent, it is time to choose a guardian for your children in the event you and the other parent die.
Thinking about a guardian is not a fun topic, but it prevents issues in the event the unexpected occurs. Because this individual would be raising your children, it is worth taking the time to pick the right one.
Consequences of not choosing a guardian
The U.S. News and World Report discusses the various consequences of not having a named guardian. First, it takes the decision-making out of your hands and places it in the courts’. This means a judge may choose someone who you would not want to care for your child. A court battle can also cause disputes among family members or good friends who want to become guardian, and this costs money and hard feelings. The whole experience is also hard on the children, who just lost their parents.
Attributes of a guardian to consider
Choosing a guardian on your own allows you to pick someone who matches your parenting style. FindLaw discusses that you should consider someone who has similar attributes and values as you do. This person should be in good health and young enough to be able to raise children.
To make the transition as easy as possible for your children, it helps if the guardian is someone who lives in the area and knows and loves your children. It also helps if the children like being around this individual.
Choosing someone financially stable is smart, and he or she should be of good moral character. If you have more than one child, you can name different guardians for each, although you should consider the implications of splitting up the family. It also helps to name a backup guardian in the event your original choice is unable to take on the role.