If you have young children, you may have wondered who would care for them in the unlikely event that you were unable to. Although this is a tough notion to ponder over, it is an important decision that you should make if you would like to have a say on who cares for your children so they receive the support they need if something were to happen to you and the other parent. Determining a backup guardian for your child or children in case something happens to you and the other parent is usually done in a will.
A guardian named in a will becomes responsible for the well-being of the child, including physical care, health, education, and welfare until he or she reaches the legal age of adulthood. The guardian is responsible for food, shelter, medical care, and the education for the child. With all these responsibilities, it is important to choose a guardian in your will that you trust the most and would be able to provide the best care and support for your child. In most cases, the guardian is not obligated to pay for a child's financial needs with his or her own money. The executor handles those arrangements with money that is received from the probate process.
In almost all cases, if the child or children's other parent survives you, the child or children will automatically assume guardianship responsibility. But, there is always the possibility that the other parent may not be available to assume that role for the child or children. Family members or close trusted friends are probably the best choice as a backup guardian. It is also possible to name co-guardianship for your child or children, although this can be grounds for future complications involving custody if the two decide to separate in the future.
What factors should you consider when choosing a personal guardian for your child or children?
Is your choice for guardianship old enough to care for children? He or she must be an adult whom is 18 years or older.
Does he or she have a genuine concern about the well-being of your child or children?
Does he or she have children of similar age to your child or children? If so, this can be a good way to tell that the prospective parent is capable of raising children and your child or children will have plenty of company and companionship.
Does he or she have time to raise a child? You would not want to leave your child or children with someone that may neglect them.
Does the prospective parents have a similar moral structure to your own? You may want to give guardianship to someone with similar moral beliefs for the welfare of your child or children.
How many assets can you provide to your children when you give them new guardianship? If it is not enough, can the new guardians afford to give what is missing?
If you are having a hard time choosing a new guardian in your will, you may want to interview different people you are considering to determine for sure if he or she is a good choice. Make sure they are willing to accept responsibility for the child or children if something were to happen to you.