Planning your estate becomes more complicated when you have children. You’ll need to arrange for someone to care for them if you and the other parent die or become incapacitated, so they won’t end up in foster care. Being placed with a new family can be disruptive and traumatic for your child, so choosing a legal guardian in your will or grant of guardianship is extremely important. Here are some suggestions on what to look for in a guardian for your children.
Can They Handle Money and the Child’s Well-Being?
If your chosen guardian can’t manage the money or assets your child may inherit, then you can choose a second adult to be a guardian of the estate while using your original pick as a guardian of the person. Choose carefully. A workaholic who’s a financial whiz may be great to guard your children’s estate but may be a poor choice as a substitute parent.
Do They Share Your Values?
When choosing someone to care for your child in your absence, you’ll want someone who has a similar parenting style, goals, and values. This is true even with guardians of the estate, as they’ll be making important decisions on behalf of your children too.
Are They Young Enough to See Your Child Through to Adulthood?
You want to choose someone in good health who can keep up with your kids, as well as someone young enough to raise them through to adulthood. Changing families a second time can be really traumatic for a child. Physical disabilities don’t necessarily mean someone won’t be a good parent but consider health factors that might affect their ability to parent or their life expectancy.
Are They Financially Stable?
Pick someone who has enough financial resources to safely care for your children. Raising and educating children can be expensive and you don’t want to place unnecessary economic burdens on your friends or family members.
Do They Have a Clean History?
Choose someone who has no criminal background or history of substance abuse. The court will not approve someone who falls into those categories and you want to know that your children will be safe and provided for.
Whomever you choose, make it legally binding by contacting a lawyer and putting it in writing. California law states that an adult guardian needs a court order to be able to make decisions on behalf of your child. Make sure they have the legal resources to do so.
When choosing one or more guardians for your children, the Law Offices of Kayleene H. Writer can help you make the right decision and provide a legally binding contract. This way you can emotionally care for your children, even when you’re not physically able to. Call us at (949) 353-6151 today for a free consultation.