Choosing a Guardian for Your Minor Children- 7 Things to Consider

Posted on Aug 10, 2016 in California Probate, California Trusts, California Wills, Estate Planning, San Diego Lawyer | Comments Off on Choosing a Guardian for Your Minor Children- 7 Things to Consider

Seven Things to Consider When Choosing a Guardian for Your Minor Children

Who would take care of my kids if something happened to me? Would they be okay? We’ve all had these thoughts and although its not something we like to think about it is something we should think about. It is something we should not only think about but do something about now, while we can. Choosing a guardian is not something to take lightly. It is something to think about and plan while we are alive and well and can make good decisions. With the right plan we can make sure our kids are well taken care of no matter what.

choosing a guardian

So as a parent, where do I start? The first thing to do is to decide what you want to happen. Who do you want to care for your kids?  Here are seven questions to ponder as you think about who you want to designate at the guardian.

#1 – Where does the potential guardian live?

Closer is better, but not always possible or practical. It is possible to have an out-of-the-state Guardian. The Designation gives them the tools they need to get officially appointed as Guardian.

#2 – What are the potential guardian’s religious, political and moral beliefs?

Are there certain beliefs that are important to you? If so, you may want to consider whether those are beliefs you’d like to keep instilled in your children and think about whether or not a potential guardian would support them.

#3 – What do you know about the potential guardian’s parenting skills?

She may be your best friend or most trusted Aunt but would she be able to raise your children the way you would want them to be raised?

#4 – How old is the potential guardian?

Consider whether or not age is an important factor for you when choosing a guardian. No mater what, a minor can’t be a guardian of another minor so the guardian must be at least 18 years old. Would your grandma be able to take care of your child for the rest of their life? This is also something to reconsider as time goes on and may be something you’ll want to update in your Estate Plan down the road depending on how a potential guardian’s health or life changes.

#5 – What is the potential guardian’s family situation?

This again is something that may change as time goes on. Therefore, make sure to revisit the guardianship designation as the guardian’s family situation, or yours, changes.

#6 – What is the potential guardian’s financial situation?

Will the potential guardian be able to care for your child financially?

#7 – Have you asked the potential guardian if they’re willing to serve?

Ask these questions and you will be able to better figure out who to choose as a potential Guardian. Of course we hope this guardianship designation will never need to go in to effect, but remember, this is for peace of mind and family protection!

Once you decide who you want to designate as the guardian, its time to meet with an Estate Planning attorney to make it official by creating a “Guardianship Designation.” Gary Quackenbush, San Diego Estate Planning attorney and father of 4, knows firsthand how big the guardianship decision can be and is here to help. The information in this article is not legal advice but we’d love to help and advise you on your particular situation. Give us a call to set up a time to meet, 858-549-8600.

GQ

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