4 Factors to Consider when Choosing a Guardian
Estate planning often begins with writing a Will and choosing an executor. Once you’ve passed that stage, you must proceed to pick a guardian for your children. Selecting a guardian isn’t a straightforward process. We recommend you consider finding someone who’s reliable and trustworthy. The person should be willing to put your children’s best interests forward. If anything happens to you, the responsibility of caring for your child falls to their guardian, which is why you need to select someone you can entrust with your children’s lives. Also, if you don’t pick a guardian for your kids, child custody services can place your children in foster care.
The foster care system suffers from numerous problems, causing many children to bounce around between homes. In addition, children in foster care often suffer from abuse or neglect. Statistics show that 9 in 1000 children in the United States are victims of abuse and neglect in the foster system. Preventing your child from the same fate means that it’s essential you pick a guardian.
How to Pick a Guardian for Your Children
Selecting a guardian to watch over your child is one of the most vital decisions you’ll ever make in your life, which is why you must take the time to consider all the candidates carefully. Here are some factors that you need to think about before choosing a guardian:
We recommend you carefully assess a candidate’s personality before asking them to be your child’s guardian. We urge you to reflect on whether the person will serve as a good role model for your child. Moreover, you should also consider their temperament and whether they’ll be able to effectively support your child in transitioning to a new home if something happens to you.
Many people consider discussing financial means a controversial factor when selecting a guardian. However, the truth is that you want to ensure your child’s guardian can afford to care for them. Although we recommend having a life insurance policy to avoid plaguing your child’s guardian with financial expenses, sometimes financial complications can occur. Your child’s guardian should have the means to bear child expenses.
Emotional Availability of Your Guardian
Before selecting a guardian, assess their emotional availability. We also recommend speaking to them to see if they are willing to raise your child as their own if something happens to you. Your child’s guardian will have obligations and a lifestyle they adhere to, but you must assess whether they’ll be willing to adapt and become a parent for your child in your absence.
Physical Ability to Parent
Another factor to take into consideration is a person’s physical ability to parent. Many people often want to entrust their child’s life to a grandparent. However, depending on your child’s age, it’s possible that giving guardianship of your child to a grandparent may not be a wise decision. For instance, if your child is five years old, there’s a possibility their grandparent may pass away before your child becomes of legal age. Moreover, if their grandparent is old and plagued by physical ailments, they may be incapable of physically taking care of your child.
Entrusting Legal Guardianship of Your Child
Once you’ve chosen a guardian for your child, it’s time to make it official by incorporating it into your Will. We recommend consulting an estate law attorney to help you draft your Will and other legal documents. The law offices of Ledwidge and Associates house some of the finest estate law lawyers in NYC. Our attorney Joseph Ledwidge has over fifteen years of experience as a probate lawyer and an estate law attorney.
Get in touch with us today to begin your estate planning.
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