Today, we’ll finish up our series on how to choose a good Guardian for your minor children. On Tuesday, we looked at three key considerations: 1) Parenting Style; 2) Two-Parent Home Issues; and 3) Religious Affiliation. Yesterday, we looked at three more factors to consider: 1) the Age/Health of the Guardian; 2) the Financial Resources of the Guardian; and 3) the Proximity of the Guardian.
The last factor we’ll look at today is whether to choose a relative or non-relative as your child’s Guardian.
For some families, the saying rings true: “blood is thicker than water.” Thus, for many families, they would never consider choosing a Guardian for their minor child that was not a relative.
But sometimes it can be beneficial to consider non-relatives as potential Guardians. For instance, where all of your relatives live in another state and your child is in high school, your child may be better off living with a family from school so that he/she could finish high school and have continuity during those formative years. Likewise, if your religious views are vastly different than your family, you may consider choosing a family from your church who might provide the religious instruction for your children that your relatives would not provide.
I saved this factor for last because it helps illustrate a major point that I want to leave you with today: when making your decision of who should be the Guardian for your children, it is vital that you consider the totality of the circumstances. Try to look at all of the factors we’ve listed in our three part series. Think about other factors that may be important to you. No one person is going to parent exactly like you or be able to totally fill the void left in your child’s life by your death. But it is important to try to think through all of the factors to pick someone that would provide the most stable, loving, nurturing environment possible for your child should something happen to you.
I hope this series has been helpful to you. Because this is an issue that has come up again and again, we wanted to address this for our readers.
The best way to designate a Guardian for your children is to draft a Will for you and your spouse. Doing so will allow you to pick your Guardian and place any restrictions you feel are necessary. Likewise, as we mentioned yesterday, it can sometimes be helpful to create a Trust to provide financially for your children and their Guardian.
We would be happy to answer any further questions you may have about Guardians, Wills, and Trusts. Call us today at 214-886-7633 or click here for more information from our website.