Part of estate planning may include choosing a potential guardian for your child. You hope that nothing will happen and you will be around to raise them until they are 18, but you also recognize that this doesn’t always happen, and you want to make sure that you have someone in mind to take care of your child.
There are a lot of different factors to consider as you try to determine who the right person actually is and then get everything set up in your estate plan. Below are just a few things to get you started.
Do you have similar values and goals?
You just generally want to consider the values of the person that you’re picking to make sure that they align with yours. You may want to have a conversation about parenting styles or think about what goals you have for the child and how the guardian may help them achieve those. You’re probably not going to find someone who is exactly like you, but it is easiest for the child if you find someone who is similar in many ways.
How old are they?
Age also matters, especially because many people consider choosing the children’s grandparents as their guardians. This can work if the grandparents are young or if they’re in excellent health, but you have to remember that they may need to care for the child for nearly two decades. Are they old enough that this won’t be realistic?
Can they make it work financially?
It’s very expensive to raise children and can add a lot of costs to someone’s life. Even if they love your child and would be glad to help, the two of you do have to consider how viable that is from a financial perspective. If this person already has a family of their own, are they going to be able to afford to add your child to it?
Once you find the right person
Now that you know a few of the things you need to look for, take the time to consider the legal steps you’ll need to take to put things in place once you find that individual.