As a parent, your estate planning is focused on setting your child up for success. You want them to have a stable home life with loving caretakers. Clearly, you hope that that will be you, but you also know that something unexpected could happen.
While you make your estate plan, you decide to choose a guardian for your child. This is the person who will take over the legal responsibilities of raising your child if you’re unable to do so. You need to know how to choose the right person.
Don’t assume your parents should do it
It’s easy to assume that your own parents would make the best guardians for your children. They’ve probably been very involved with their grandchild. But you need to consider their age and health as you determine whether they would be able to take care of your child, especially if that would be an obligation for the next 18 years.
Find someone who shares your values and parenting style
Ideally, if you want the child’s life to feel as stable and secure as possible, you need to look for someone who is somewhat similar to you. They need to have similar values and use a parenting style that you agree with. Everything is not going to be exactly the same, but you also don’t want it to be drastically different.
Find someone who has the ability to do it
You really need to consider whether or not the guardian you want to pick can care for your child. This may include looking at things like mental health, physical health, financial assets, living situation or even their own marriage or relationship.
After you’ve determined who you want to pick, then you need to talk to them and get the paperwork in place, following all of the proper legal steps.