It is hard to think about not caring for your children if something happened to you. But naming a guardian is one of the most important parts of the estate planning process if you have minor children.
According to a survey conducted by Caring.com, only 4 out of every 10 Americans have either a will or a living trust. If you have plans to start your estate plan, there are certain factors you should consider when naming a guardian for your children.
1. Consider less obvious relatives
Your first instinct may be to name your children’s grandparents as their legal guardians. But they may be too old to keep up with your children, especially if they are younger. Think about other relatives in your family who could provide the level of care your children need to thrive.
2. Take into account values
You may want your children raised with a certain belief system or specific religious values. If this is a priority to you, choose a guardian who will perpetuate these values and promote them in their home.
3. Weigh a variety of factors
You should think about factors like whether your potential guardian owns a home, has a good job, is financially responsible, etc. Although choosing a guardian who will love your children is paramount, these considerations are important, too.
Keep in mind that once you name your children’s guardian, you can always make changes as your children grow. You may even want to consider the idea of designating specific guardians for different lengths of time.