As part of an estate plan, it is important for parents to carefully select a guardian for their minor child to include in their estate plan. To make a selection that will provide the estate planner with invaluable peace of mind, it is also important for the estate planner to know how to choose a guardian and what to base that situation on.
Important considerations when selecting a guardian
A guardian serves an important role in an estate plan. It is helpful to note that guardians can perform different roles including serving as guardian for the child’s estate or for the child’s person. Important considerations to take into account when selecting a guardian include:
- Matching attributes – it is important to select a guardian with the skills and attributes to perform the duties of a guardian.
- Multiple guardians – the estate planner should decide if having multiple guardians is a good idea for them and may also wish to name alternate guardians.
- Shared values – it is important to select a guardian who shares the estate planner’s values, goals and parenting styles.
- Financial stability – the estate planner should select a guardian that is financially stable and has adequate financial resources to care for the child so that the child will not be an economic burden to the guardian.
- Longevity – the estate planner should select a guardian who will have longevity to serve in the role of guardian through to the child’s adulthood if anything happens to the estate planner.
- Take into account character – the estate planner should take into account the character of the guardian selected to ensure they will be approved by the court.
Additionally, it is a good idea for the estate planner to talk over their selection, make the selection they deem best and to include the selection in writing in their estate plan. A guardian holds an important role in an estate plan. For that reason, estate planners should carefully consider who to select as guardian for their children during the estate planning process.