What to Consider When Selecting a Guardian for Your Children?

By Chris Tymchuck
Founding Attorney

Grappling with the thought that you might not be there to raise your children can be one of the most difficult and important things for you to process. The selection of a guardian for your children will help ensure that you trust the person who will care for your children and know that they will care for your children in the best way possible.

Without thinking about who will raise your children should you ever be unable to do so, you risk putting your children through guardianship proceedings. Not only can this be upsetting and disruptive for children to have to go through, but a judge will ultimately decide who will be charged with raising your children. You can avoid having your children go through this and get to decide yourself who will raise your children should you be unable to do so if you select a guardian yourself prior to the need for a guardian to arise.

What to Consider When Selecting a Guardian for your Children

When you think about who to name as guardian for your children, think about your values and what you hold important. Think about whether or not a person has the qualities you find to be indispensable in raising children who will thrive. Additionally, consider those who know you best and share your ideologies. Who will honor the goals and values you want for your children? Who understands your parenting style? Think about who will help your children achieve their goals.

Additionally, there is the practicality that children are expensive to raise and care for. The guardian you select should be financially capable of raising your children. Therefore, you should select someone with the financial resources necessary to care for your children. Choose someone who is financially stable and who has a level of financial security that would help ensure that taking on the care of your children would not be an undue economic hardship for them.

Think about the emotional, physical, and mental health of potential guardians. The challenges associated with raising a child are frequently arduous. Children will challenge you physically, emotionally, and mentally. Consider who will be able to keep up and see the care of your child through. Age, mental health, physical health, and physical disabilities, while not dispositive in a guardianship decision, are still important factors to weigh in the process.

You will also want to consider where the potential guardian is located. Would your children need to relocate? Would your children still be close to family and friends? Depending on the circumstances, relocation would prevent further disruption to your children. Consider the family and friend resources that would be available should they need to relocate to be with the named guardian.

Estate Planning Attorney

Once you choose a guardian, ask them for permission to name them as guardian. This should be a discussion about the reality and the gravity of what you are asking them to take on. Once it is settled, put it in your will and feel the sense of relief that comes with knowing you have taken a major step towards ensuring your children are always properly cared for. For all of your estate planning needs, contact Unique Estate Law today.

About the Author
As a Minneapolis Estate Planning and Probate attorney I help build and protect families through the adoption, estate planning, and probate processes. I also have experience working with families on issues related to their small businesses. I know how difficult it is to find time to plan for the future and I am here to help walk you through it.