Preparing for the worst-case scenario is one of the best things you can do as a parent. That’s why choosing a guardian to care for your child if you’re no longer able to do so is an essential part of creating your last will and testament. However, there’s more to choosing a guardian than picking the first person that comes to mind. You need to consider what will be best for your child in the long run. Here are a few key things to consider as you make your decision.

family and a gavel during a guardianship hearing

Consider the Values You Want to Impart

Many parents have a core set of values they want to pass on to their child, and if you do, you’ll want to choose an individual or couple who have values similar to your own. Think about the people in your life who align with your personal values most. Then, consider if any of them are in a place to be able and willing to raise your child if you’re unable to do so. 

Communicate With Your Partner, Co-Parent, or Spouse

Many couples and individuals in co-parenting agreements tend to agree on who to establish as a guardian for their children, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a conversation about it. Ask your partner or co-parent who they think would be a good guardian. They may name individuals you didn’t think of or be able to offer insight into their recommendations that can make one individual stand out from the others.

Think About Their Physical and Financial Health

Guardians are only chosen to take care of your child if you’re not able to. The last thing you want to do is choose someone who isn’t in good health physically and financially. As you review your choices, consider how physically healthy they are. Do they have underlying medical conditions that could prevent them from caring for your child? Are they currently battling an advanced disease? If so, you may want to choose someone else.

Consider also how financially fit they are. Raising children is expensive, and your chosen guardian needs to be able to provide for your child. If your chosen guardian consistently struggles to make ends meet, you may want to choose someone else.

Don’t Rule Out Family Friends

Though many parents choose family members for guardianship of their children, you’re not required to. In some cases, your immediate family may not be the best choice for your child’s well-being. It’s okay to consider your close friends as potential guardians for your child. The key lies in choosing a friend that will treat your child with the love and compassion they deserve. 

Choosing a Guardian Is an Important Part of Planning for Your Family’s Future

Keeping your children safe and doing everything you can to protect them means planning for situations where you’re no longer around to look after them. Choosing a guardian and establishing that chain of custody in your will should you pass away is a simple way to keep your child’s best interests in mind. 

If you’re ready to create a will or want help establishing a trust to protect your children’s futures, call Norris & Weber at (214) 521-1520 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.