When you choose a guardian for your minor children in your estate plan, you want to make sure that guardian is capable of providing the care your child needs. Though there are obvious questions about financial abilities, stable home environments, and parenting abilities, there are also some factors you may not have considered. Here are three questions you’ll want to ask yourself when you make your guardianship choice.
Some people choose a guardian because that person is a close family member. However, you may also want to consider more distant family members or even close friends. The key question is who will be the best guardian for your child, not necessarily who has the closest relationship to you.
Some people are good with younger children but are not great dealing with teenagers. You need to remember that your guardian will have to care for your child until the child is grown. Someone who is able to get along with your child and who can provide the type of home environment suitable for children of all ages is an ideal choice.
While your parents may seem like a great choice as guardian, you need to be careful when choosing an older person. Many older people experience health difficulties that can impair their ability to care for a child. Always consider age and health factors when making your choice.
Alternatives to Guardianships
Some states have alternatives to guardianships of minor children. For example Texas will allow you to sign a Non-parent Relative Care Agreement with the person you are wanting to serve as the caretaker of your children which does not have to go through a court process in order to be validated. Be sure to speak with a knowledgeable attorney who can give you all the options your state allows.
John R. Vermillion & Associates, LLC is a member of the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys.