If you are a parent, you most likely considered or worried what would happen
to your children if you were no longer able to care for them. Choosing a
guardian for minor children can be a difficult and complicated process. You will want to choose the
best possible person to care for your kids if you cannot, but you may
not find an individual that fits all your specifications. Here are some
tips to help make the process of choosing a guardian easier.
Where Does the Potential Guardian Live?
It is likely that your children will go to live with your chosen guardian,
so you should think about where the potential guardian lives. If you are
okay with your children being raised there, you may feel comfortable naming
that person as a guardian. If not, find another individual.
What are Your Potential Guardian’s Personal Views?
If you hold specific religious, political, or moral beliefs, you may want
to choose a guardian whose beliefs align with yours. Discuss their beliefs
with them and decide if they are likely to raise your children in a manner
you find acceptable.
Does the Potential Guardian Have Strong Parenting Skills?
Your children will need someone to raise them well, and your potential
choice of guardian should have the knowledge and skills to do so. If they
are a parent, are they hands on with their own children? Do they have
the time and energy to devote to your children? What are their views on
education, discipline, and school activities such as sports? If they are
not already a parent, talk to them about how they were raised, as this
is likely to influence their parenting style.
How Old is the Potential Guardian?
There are pros and cons to both older and younger guardians. Older guardians
may be in a better financial position to raise your children and may be
able to spend more time with them, but they may not be as in touch with
current parenting trends or what kids like. Younger guardians can be more
energetic and in touch with trends, but they may lack the time or financial
resources to care for your children. If your potential guardian is an
adult sibling of your minor children, they may also be in a poor position
to care for their siblings.
What is the Family Situation of the Potential Guardian?
Your potential guardian’s family situation can heavily influence
their ability to care for your children. If they are a young parent or
have a large family, they may not have as much time for your children.
If they are married, is their marriage stable? If they are unmarried,
is there a partner that will also have contact with your children? If
they have children, how do they compare in age to your children? Ask these
questions and decide if their family situation will be beneficial for
What is the Financial Situation of Your Potential Guardian?
Finances will have a big impact on the ability of your choice’s ability
to care for your children. If they are not financially stable, do not
have the disposable income to add new members to their family, or don’t
live in a large enough home, they may not be a good fit for your needs.
Talk with your potential guardian about their ability to care for your children.
Is Your Potential Guardian Willing to Care for Your Children?
After you have narrowed your choices, you should talk with your potential
choice for your children’s guardian about their willingness to care
for your children. If they are not willing or feel that they are not capable
of caring for your children, find another person to take on the role.
Your children’s safety and well-being should be of the utmost importance,
so it is crucial to ensure they’ll have a loving home if you pass
away. Our Phoenix
estate planning attorneys can help you ensure that your choice for your children’s
guardian is honored in the event of your death. At
Thies & Lihn, PLLC, we are committed to offering our clients personalized, compassionate
legal service for all their estate planning needs, including decisions
regarding an appropriate guardian for your children.
Contact our firm by calling (602) 900-9860 to request a
no-cost case evaluation.