Jeffrey P. Scott & Associates, LLC
Choosing Your Child’s Guardian
It’s something few parents want to think about: who will take care of your children if something happens to you? As much as we avoid contemplating it, common disasters have been known to rob a young child of both parents. There have even been cases where a child has lost both parents within a span of a few years, with neither parent planning for such a tragedy.
Although these scenarios are difficult to consider, creating an estate plan that names a guardian for your minor child can give you tremendous peace of mind. Here are a few things to consider when choosing a guardian.
Choose Someone Both Willing and Capable
Your child’s guardian should be a capable adult with both the time and willingness to care for a young child. Don’t restrict yourself to close family members, such as siblings or parents. Expand your choices to family members and even friends who share your values and parenting philosophies. For example, if religious education is a big component of your life, your child’s guardian should be willing to continue this aspect of your family’s unique culture. Similarly, if sports and an active lifestyle are important to your child, choose someone who will encourage and support the same upbringing. You should also consider your prospective guardian’s:
· Financial stability
· Maturity level
· Relationship with your child
· Children of his or her own
· Marital status
· Geographic location
Try to envision your child living with your guardian of choice. These factors are just a starting point for matching your child with a guardian who will raise your child in a happy, comfortable, and supportive environment.
Discuss Your Wishes with Your Guardian
Although it may seem obvious, make sure you ask any prospective guardian if he or she is interested in serving in this important role in your child’s life. Talk candidly about your wishes and concerns and allow the guardian to ask questions as well as voice his or her opinions and ideas about your child’s well-being. This will give you a good idea of whether the individual you choose is suited to serving as your child’s guardian.
Try to Achieve Harmony with the Other Parent
If you and your child’s other parent are divorced or were never married, it’s ideal to agree on the same guardian in your respective estate plans. Although divorced spouses often want a member of their own family to serve as guardian, it’s important to see past personal differences to what is truly in the child’s best interests.
Minnesota Estate Planning and Probate Law Firm
Find out what estate planning documents you need to ensure your minor child’s future is secure. Call the Minnesota probate and estate planning attorneys at Jeffrey P. Scott & Associates, LLC today at (651) 968-1457.
This website has been prepared by Jeffrey P. Scott & Associates, LLC for informational purposes only and does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. The information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to substitute for legal advice from an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.