Your last will and testament is where you explain how your loved ones should divide your property after your death. Your will also serves an important role if you have young children. You can name a guardian to provide for their care if you die or become unable to meet their needs.
Choosing a guardian may be the most nerve-wracking decision you have to make when planning your estate. How do you know you’ve picked the right person?
You need someone responsible and compassionate
Your children will need someone to manage their inheritance and meet all of the basic needs of their daily lives, which requires organization and thoughtfulness. They will also require emotional and social support as they grieve and try to adjust to a completely unexpected situation.
Thinking about the relationship your children have with other people in your life, like your siblings, can help you choose someone who is capable of fulfilling the practical responsibilities of guardianship while also meeting the emotional needs of your children.
The guardian must be willing to assume that responsibility
You can have a loved one who meets all of the basic criteria to serve as a guardian but who has a very demanding job or three kids of their own.
If they aren’t willing to commit to the idea of guardianship, then it may be best for you to choose an alternate candidate. Otherwise, the person you name might decline that responsibility if anything were to happen to you, leaving your children at the mercy of state systems.
Careful planning about who to name as a guardian in your will can help protect your children if anything tragic happens to you.