Estate Planning: Choosing a Guardian for Your Child


If something happens to you, what will happen to your child? While this is painful to think about, every parent needs to consider this and to have a guardian appointed in advance in the event of a parent’s death or disability. This type of planning is an act of love, a sign of responsibility and a true gift.

The following are some tips a parent should consider in choosing a guardian for child:

  • Think about what is in the best interest of your child. This is not the time to think about how others will react to your decision. It is the time to really think about the person best suited to care for your child when you are not able, and who will give the child the love, affection and attention he or she needs.
  • Consider every person whether they are related or not. The selection of a guardian is not limited to just family or relatives. A non-relative can be nominated as a guardian, especially if you have developed a close friendship and relationship with this person.
  • Be practical. Does the person have the skills and ability to raise a child? What about the age of the person? While everyone loves a doting grandmother, she might be too old to raise a child. While an uncle may be fun to be around, does he have the patience to raise a child?   Does the person share your morals, values, religion and beliefs? Is this person good with money? Can this person instill the importance of a good education?
  • Ask permission. Speak to the family member or friend you are considering. Be open and honest with that person. Tell this person what you expect. Is the person you are considering willing and able to take on the responsibility of being a guardian and making decisions for a minor?
  • Know you can change your mind. Your choice of a guardian is never written in stone. It can be changed as time and circumstances change. Just be sure and have your documents updated or your child could be raised by someone not of your choosing.

At my law firm, we can help you through the process of selecting an appropriate guardian for your child. This is what we do.