When you plan your estate, you determine how you want to divide your assets upon your death. Estate planning should also involve determining who will care for your children in case you die by establishing formal guardianship.
According to the Children’s Bureau, guardianship lets you pick a caregiver to take care of your children in the event of death or incarceration. The caregiver you choose has certain legal rights regarding your children, so you should select this person carefully.
1. Consider values
If you want to raise your children in a certain faith, choose a guardian who possesses these same values or will encourage your children to maintain these values. You should also consider the potential guardian’s parenting style, education and morals while planning your estate.
2. Take health and age into account
You may feel strongly that your parents or grandparents should be your children’s guardians. However, you should consider the age of the guardian you pick to ensure they have the energy and capacity to care for your children.
3. Split responsibilities if needed
You may want the guardian you pick to also handle your children’s inheritances and the financial aspect of caring for them. But you can always pick another person to handle this task, for example.
Ultimately, you should pick someone who will love and care for your children while also taking care of their financial and educational needs. Although you may gravitate towards a married couple, the ideal guardian may be single or even a distant relative with close ties to your children.