If I pass away, who would be the ideal guardians for my children?

Part of wise estate planning includes considering the uncomfortable but necessary scenario of who should raise your children if you and your spouse suddenly and unexpectedly pass away. Choosing the proper New York guardians can be agonizing, but it is necessary to ensure your children enjoy a fruitful and proper upbringing. You can make the process simpler by narrowing down the decision making process into a few key areas.

An article in Forbes recommends that guardians should share the values of the parents as far as raising their children is concerned. Parents should take into account the kinds of values that are important in bringing up their children. These may involve making sure the children are raised with the same cultural upbringing that the parents have. But it can also involve how the children are encouraged to follow their passions. Some parents may not want their children to have too strict an upbringing.

Possible values can include any or all of the following:

  • Religion or spiritual beliefs
  • Cultural or national background
  • Political or ideological beliefs
  • Moral values such as generosity
  • Educational excellence

In composing your list of values, it is likely that you will never be fully satisfied with your child’s prospective guardian. This is not unexpected. Parents have strong emotional bonds with their children and cannot imagine another party doing as good a job as they can. However, if your possible guardian can embody your essential values, that is an important step.

But even if a guardian is a good match for the parents’ value system, parents must also determine if the prospective guardian is both capable and willing to take care of their children. The person or persons you choose should have the financial resources to house, feed and educate your children. Additionally, the guardians should be emotionally and physically healthy. Raising children, especially younger ones, can require a lot of stamina and patience.

And even if the guardians are capable, they should also be willing. You must receive the consent of the prospective guardians first. And even if they agree, do not accept a ready yes. Taking care of children is a great responsibility. You have to take your guardian candidates through every facet of how your children will live and be raised, and see that your candidates understand what they are getting into. And finally, be sure that your guardian candidates love your children. Take care that the people you choose as guardians can provide a safe and loving home for your children.

This article is intended to educate readers on guardianship and is not to be taken as legal advice.

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If I pass away, who would be the ideal guardians for my children?

Ledwidge & Associates

Ledwidge & Associates, P.C. in New York City has years of experience helping clients create estate plans that fit their needs. We have the experience and resources to handle your critical legal matters with the utmost care and attention to detail.