If you pass on while your child is a minor, it is natural that the surviving parent will assume the child’s parental responsibilities. However, if they are not around, or if they lack parental responsibility, then the court may appoint a guardian for your child.
A guardian is a person you, or the court, nominates to legally look after your minor child should you die or become incapacitated. It is important that you make this decision while creating your estate plan.
Here are a few questions that can help you make the decision with regard to who will be a guardian for your child.
What are their values?
Ideally, you want a guardian who subscribes to the same values and life principles as you do. And these include their moral and religious values as well as their perception of the issues that are dear to you. For instance, if you have strong reservations about gambling, drinking or smoking, you probably want to avoid a guardian who indulges in any of these. Also, you definitely want to avoid an individual who is constantly having a run with the law.
How old are they?
Age is an important factor when designating a guardian for your child. For instance, if you are considering your parents or grandparents for this role, and you have a very young child, you might want to think about their ability to care for the child until they become adults. While on the age factor, it is equally important that you consider their health status. For obvious reasons, an aging individual with an underlying medical condition may not be a fit for a guardianship role.
Life is all about changes and uncertainties. However difficult it is, one of the most important provisions you need to include in your will is a guardian for your young child. Find out how you can properly designate a legal guardian for your little one.