Guardianship: How to Choose a Guardian for Your Children

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If you have young children, you have probably thought about the possibility of someone else raising them in the event that you or the other parent isn’t able to. This is something that no parent would want to think about, but really should.

Fortunately, by appointing a guardian for your children in your will, you can ensure that your children would be well taken care of in case you become unable to.

Naming a Guardian for Your Children

You must appoint one personal guardian for your children and an alternate in the event that your initial choice is unable to serve as a guardian. You could likewise name multiple guardians, but this isn’t usually recommended due to the possibility of the guardians disagreeing on childcare issues later.

You could, however, choose to appoint a couple, preferably a stable, married one, as co-guardians so that they could both have the legal authority to make critical decisions for your children, advises an experienced family attorney in Marysville, Washington.

When choosing a guardian, consider these important factors:

  • How old is the potential guardian? He or she must be 18 years old and older.
  • Is the prospective guardian genuinely concerned about the welfare of your children?
  • Is the potential guardian physically capable of handling the task?
  • Does the prospective guardian have sufficient time to care for your children?
  • Does the potential guardian share your beliefs—moral, spiritual, religious, etc.?
  • Would your children need to relocate?
  • Does the potential guardian have children that are close to your children’s age?
  • Could you provide sufficient assets for raising your children? In the event you couldn’t, does your chosen guardian have the means to comfortably do so?

If you’re having difficulty choosing a guardian, you need to speak with all the prospective guardians you’re considering. See how they react to you possibly leaving your children under their care, so you could gauge their qualifications.

When you and the other parent of your children create your wills, it’s important that both of you name the same individual/s as your children’s personal guardian/s. In case you and the other party can’t agree, the court might decide on your behalf in the event that both of you pass away while your children are still minors. The decision of the judge would be mainly based on your children’s’ best interests.