Determining guardianship for your minor children can be the most difficult part of the estate planning process. The guardian you choose should be both physically and emotionally ready to support and guide during a difficult time in your minor child's life. It will almost certainly be a difficult time for the guardian, as well. Many factors come into play when considering whether a guardian will be a good fit. Guardians should not only be a good fit with minor children in general, but should be a good fit for your minor children. We recommend considering a few things before assigning a guardian:
1. Capability of guardianship. Is the person capable of and willing to take care of a minor child? If certain family members are financially, mentally, or physically incapable of taking care of a minor, or if they have habits that may negatively affect the minor, you should consider these factors very carefully before determining guardianship.
2. Age of the minor. How old is the minor child? If a child is older, but still a minor, it is very important that you consult with them before assigning guardianship in the will. Parents should always consider the child's needs and preferences in determining guardianship.
3. Family demographics. Do you prefer to have a single guardian raise your child? A young married couple? An established married couple? These kinds of family demographics will likely affect the upbringing of the minor.
4. Financial assistance. How will you help the guardian provide for your minor child? Whether you assign guardianship to a family member or close friend, you should plan to financially assist the guardian of your minor children. Ensuring that guardians will be aided in providing for minor children can help ease tension between family members.
These issues are just a few that should be considered when determining guardianship of minor children. We recommend you speak with one of our capable attorneys to help plan and prepare you for these often unexpected events. Please contact us by calling or filling out our contact form on the "Contact Us" page of our website. We look forward to working with you.