Focused On Your Family’s Legacy

3 steps for naming a guardian for your children in your will

On Behalf of | Jan 9, 2023 | Estate Planning

Becoming a parent is as terrifying as it is exhilarating. You experience the profound excitement and joy of watching your newborn slowly learn how to interact with the world around them. However, you are likely also acutely aware that you are responsible for protecting them from injury and providing for their basic needs.

If anything were to happen to you, your child could end up living with total strangers through the foster care system. The best way to prevent such a tragedy from occurring is to engage in advanced planning for the possibility of your early death. Naming a guardian for your children in your will is one of the most important protections you can provide them until they become adults.

How do you select and name the right person as the guardian for your children?

1. Identify what your family’s needs

How many children will require support if something happens to you? Do any of them have unusual medical or social needs? How long will they require support?

The answers to all of these questions will influence the best choices as you consider the people that you know who might be able to care for your children in your stud. Creating a written list of what the guardian may need to do can be an important first step in the process.

2. Consider all of your options

From your second cousin who is much younger than you but kind and responsible to your niece who is substantially older than your children, there may be many people in your inner circle who are potential guardian candidates.

You need to think about how these individuals handle stressful situations and their family circumstances to create a list of several people you believe would help take proper care of your children should anything happen to you.

3. Talk with your top candidates

Even when you believe that a certain person is the best and possibly only choice, you cannot unilaterally declare them responsible for your children should anything happen to you. You need to discuss this crucial decision with the people you might name to assume authority in your place.

They may have a very personal reason for not being able to accept that they haven’t shared with you or others yet. Once you have discussed the matter with the people you think would be best for the role, you are then in a position to name your selected guardian and possibly even an alternate in your will with the confidence that your children will have proper support if anything happens to you.

Carefully planning for the needs of those around you will be a crucial part of the process of creating a will.