8 Things to Consider on Designating a Guardian on Your Will
Who you will name as your guardian is one of the most critical decisions you will make while writing your will. If something were to happen to you, this person would be in charge of caring for your minor children.
The court would select a guardian for you if you didn’t name one before you passed on.
The other parent is legally entitled to custody if one parent passes away; if this is something you do not want, you should also make provisions for it in advance.
Before drafting your will, make sure you and the other parent agree on who the legal guardian(s) will be. This will allow you to use the same name(s) in both documents, preventing future confusion.
Although selecting a child’s legal guardian is a very personal choice, there are things to consider. Here are factors to weigh in naming a guardian on your will and where to find a will and trust attorney in Colorado:
How Many Kids Do You Have?
Don’t ask for custody of only one child and assume the court will give that individual custody of all the children. Make careful to include each of them in your will. If your child needs extra care, you could worry more than normal.
Are You Planning to Raise Your Children as a Family?
If you want your children to remain together, make a note in your will. Make this decision clear in your will if, for any reason, the court disagrees with your choice of a guardian or if your selected guardian is unable to care for your children.
In this case, you still want your children to remain with the new guardian that the court names. You may even argue that this factor is more significant than the legal guardian.
Is the Guardian Capable of Caring for All of Your Children?
If you want your family to remain intact, can your chosen guardian take care of your children’s emotional and physical needs? Do they have any further kids? Can the family coexist?
Have You Considered Having Coguardians?
If you intend to raise your kids in a two-person home, name both adults as coguardians. If your sister and brother-in-law are assisting you in raising your children, for example, designate both of your siblings as coguardians.
How Old Is the Designated Guardian?
Many people pick their parents as their child’s guardians since they are accustomed to doing so. Age, general health, and the guardian’s capacity for managing the physical demands of childrearing should also be considered.
If your children are close to adulthood, this might not be a major concern, but if you have young children, it might be something to take seriously. You may need to consult with a will and trust attorney for more information.
In Which Location Would You Wish to Carry Out Guardianship?
Do they live in cities, just like you do? How far are other members of your family and significant figures in your children’s lives? Will you have to relocate if one or both of your children lose their parents?
Is the Chosen Guardian Capable of Handling It?
It is crucial to consider the financial skills of the guardian you have chosen due to the significant expense of raising children, which you are aware of as a parent, even if you should have made financial provisions for them in advance through estate planning.
Does the Guardian Uphold Your Moral and Religious Values?
You probably want a guardian who follows the same fundamental parenting beliefs and goals to ensure your children are raised the same way you would. If teaching religious doctrine—or, alternately, not teaching religious doctrine—is truly important to you, you should consider this while choosing a guardian.
Take into account their approach to parenting, level of maturity, and capacity for handling the responsibility of raising your child. Do they already get along well with your children?
It is important to consider various factors when naming a guardian in your will. These include the age, health, and relationship of the potential guardian and their ability to provide a stable home environment. Additionally, you should consider your children’s wishes and their relationship with the potential guardian. Ultimately, deciding who to name as guardian is personal and should be carefully considered, so it’s best to work with a will attorney.
For all of your estate planning requirements, including wills, trusts, probate, and legacy planning, get in touch with attorney Marc Carlson. Contact us if you need a will and trust attorney in Colorado!