Cropped shot of a little girl holding an unrecognizable woman’s hand in the park

Choosing a Guardian for Minor Children

If something terrible happened to you and your spouse, who would raise your children? It’s not something anyone wants to think about, but we should plan for it. By naming a guardian for your minor children, you can help ensure they will be raised according to your wishes. The question is, how do you choose the proper guardian?

Here are several factors to consider.

The Ability and Willingness of the Guardian to Serve.

Will the prospective guardian be able to meet the physical and economic demands of raising your children? Even more important, is the prospective guardian willing to serve in the first place? The last thing you want to do is name a guardian before talking to the person you have in mind.

Love and Values.

Ideally, the prospective guardian will love your children and treat your children how you would want them to be loved and treated; and share your child-rearing philosophy, values, views on education, religious beliefs, and other fundamental principles.

Geography.

If the prospective guardian lives in another state, moving there might be too drastic of a change for your child, particularly an older child.

The Guardian’s Family.

If the potential guardian has children of his or her own, would your child get along with them? And would the guardian be able to give your child enough attention in a busy household?

The Age of Your Children.

If your children are older and relatively mature, you may want to seek their input before naming a guardian.

Through proper planning, you can ensure your children will be raised according to your wishes in the event you cannot raise them yourself.

Michelle P. Biddinger
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