There’s little more unsettling than the thought of relatives arguing and a judge deciding who should care for your children if you and your spouse were to pass unexpectedly. Your children shouldn’t have to deal with that kind of stress on top of grief, and you don’t want that important decision to be made without any of your input. Planning ahead for such an event, although strange to think about, is an extremely important and responsible thing to do for your family. There are multiple considerations that can help you decide who you’d want to take care of your children.
1. Think Beyond the Obvious
Consider more than just grandparents and siblings to take care of your children. Consider aunts, uncles, dear friends, or more distant relatives who may share your values more closely and be a more suitable fit for the needs of your children.
2. Look for Love
Your children obviously need a loving home, so you don’t want to choose anyone who you aren’t sure could love your children as their own, plain and simple.
3. Observe Personality
Do your considered guardians have the personality traits you think are most important for raising children? Are they loving, patient, mature, and worthy role models? Also consider the personality traits of your children and their individual needs. For instance, choosing a guardian who is very responsible but not very affectionate may not be the best fit for a sensitive child who requires loving attention.
4. Weigh Values and Philosophies
While it would be challenging for you to find guardians with the exact same values and philosophies on life as you, consider which people on your list best match your core beliefs on matters, such as:
- Moral values
- Religious beliefs
- Child-raising philosophy
- Educational values
5. Consider Finances
Considering finances depends solely on your financial situation. You can state in your will or instruct your trustee on how to provide money for the guardians. It’s wise to have savings or set up life insurance (which can be simple and affordable). If you don’t have provisions put back, you should consider the guardians’ finances more heavily upon choosing them.
6. Apply Pragmatism
Don’t let practical factors slip past you. After you’ve considered all the more obvious concerns, don’t forget to examine other issues, such as:
- If the family has other children, will they get along with each other?
- How close or far away do your chosen guardians live? Too much change can be too overwhelming for many children.
- Would you be okay with only one person taking care of your children if tragedy occurred and one of your guardians passed?
Remember overall to look for a good, though unlikely to be perfect, choice. Your children need an honest environment that has the same general atmosphere as your existing family dynamic.
If you have any further questions regarding guardianship and how it applies to you, contact Sherer Law Offices today.