It will come as no surprise that the selection of a guardian for your children is an important decision parents will not take likely. It is helpful to know what to consider when making such a significant designation that can help estate planners choose wisely when selecting a guardian for their children.
How to select a guardian
There are several important things to keep in mind when selecting a guardian including:
- The decision is not set in stone – things change and circumstances change and it is a good idea to regularly review an estate plan and update it where needed. This can include reviewing and updating the guardianship designation.
- Consider naming a back up – depending on who the estate planner selects, it is not a bad idea to consider including a back up guardian in the estate plan.
- Elderly parents may not be the best choice – elderly parents may not be the best choice because they are less likely to outlive the estate planner. If the estate planner does select their parents, they may want to consider also including a back-up guardian in their estate plan.
- Close friends can be a good choice – it may be difficult for parents to agree on a family member to name as a guardian so it can be helpful to consider a close family friend instead.
- Decide for yourself – parents do not want to wind up in a situation when they are unexpectedly lost and they have not named a guardian to care for their children. Doing it is key and estate planning tools can help.
When selecting a guardian, it is not a bad idea to also consider consulting the child. Estate planning can help parents and estate planners prepare for necessary concerns, such as who will care for their minor children if they are unable to, which is why it is important to set up an estate plan and know what to consider when selecting a guardian.