Choosing a Personal Guardian

If you are parent with children under 18, then you need to plan for their future. You will want to establish a stable home that your children would be safe in in the event that you cannot take care of them any longer. Mothers and fathers often forget the possibility that they could pass away before their children are old enough to care for themselves. Becoming an orphan is a devastating event for a child, but with careful planning, you can make sure that in the event of your passing your children would be well taken care of.

To secure your child's future in the case of this unlikely event, you will want to name a personal guardian in your will. You can legally name more than one guardian, but this is not normally a good idea. This is because the co-guardians could possibly disagree on arrangements in the future, which would cause trouble and confusion for your children. If you are married, chances are that your children will be directly under the care of your spouse, but if you both perish, a guardian would get custody. Single parents should be especially prompt in securing a guardian for their children. In many cases parents will chose a brother or sister to take care of their children, so that they will remain within the extended family. In some circumstances, grandparents may even be able to take care of their grandchildren.

When there are no near or suitable family members to take the child, then parents may want to will their children to a close family friend. There are many factors to consider when making this important decision. You will want to make sure the prospective guardian is old enough. In all states a legal guardian must be at least 18 years of age. Also, you will want to consider how much the prospective guardian cares about the child's welfare. Evaluate if the possible guardian is good with children, and can handle the job of becoming a parental figure so suddenly. Make sure that he or she has the time, and consider how this would affect the potential guardian's family. Look at the possible guardian's financial situation. If you have found a suitable guardian who could not afford to pay for the children's upbringing, then you may want to provide money in an account. Also take into consideration how this transition would affect your children, and whether or not they would approve.

If you are having a difficult time finding a guardian for your children, then take some time to talk with some of your candidates. It is very important that you devote time and calculated thought to this consideration so that if anything does happen to you in the future, you can be sure that your kids are in a happy home with people who care for them. Most people want their children to stay together, so you can will all of your children to one person. In rare cases, a parent may want different adults to take on the responsibility of your children. This is legal, and may work better if you don't know someone who can handle taking on all of your children at once.

When establishing a guardian, you can determine who would watch over your finances in the situation. Oftentimes a person who may be an excellent godparent would not be responsible with the financial side of things. You can make this reservation in your will. Make sure that you and your spouse have agreed on the guardians for your children in the event of your passing. If you both have listed different caretakers for your children it will spark a court conflict, and your children may not end up where they would most prefer or where they would be safest.