Estate planning is necessary when you have young children. A crucial part of the plan is selecting a guardian for them.
There are many different details to consider when choosing a guardian, so consider all of your options before making a declaration.
While you may have a guardian in mind when drafting your will, it is necessary to think about the different ways the arrangement could impact your children over time.
- Location – if a potential guardian lives out of the area, children may need to attend a different school
- Age of guardians – older parents, aunts and uncles may find it challenging to keep up with young children, while your older children may not have enough experience to care for their younger siblings properly
- Multiple children – keeping siblings together is often a high priority, so ensure the guardian of your choice can care for all your children, especially if they have young children too
- Money management – ensure the guardian can manage the financial responsibility of raising children
- Religious beliefs – keep in mind the guardian’s belief system if you want your children to maintain your spiritual principles
Consider non-custodial parents’ rights
If you and the children’s other parent are no longer in a relationship, that parent has rights to the children if you die, even if you designate a different guardian in your will. However, it is necessary to declare a guardian of your choice should the non-custodial parent die before you or the courts determine that person cannot care for the children.
Establishing guardianship in your will ensures you have a say in who cares for your children if you die before they reach adulthood.