If you’re a young parent or if you have a child with special needs, part of your estate plan likely includes setting up guardianship. It may never be used, but you want to know that there’s a guardian in place if they’re needed. This person can take care of your child and help them with things that they are not able to do on their own.
But what do you look for when you’re trying to decide who will be your guardian? Clearly, the first step is just to find someone who’s willing, so it means talking with your potential choices. But what should you look for when you’re making that list of options?
Someone of a similar age
It can be dangerous to pick your grandparents, as many people are likely to do. It is true that your own parents are trustworthy and love their grandchildren, but you ideally want to pick someone closer to your own age.
Someone with similar values
Additionally, you need to look for someone who has similar values and goals. This is the individual who is going to be raising your child, and you want to know that their parenting style is going to be close to what you would’ve provided.
Someone who is close enough to do it
It’s also wise to look for someone who simply lives in the area and can be called upon when needed. Families often spread out across the country, so you may be tempted to pick your siblings, but it may not be realistic.
Someone who can afford it
Finally, you need to find somebody who can actually afford to take an extra child. Someone might be a terrific parent, but that doesn’t mean that they have the space or the resources.
When you do decide who you want to choose, then it’s time to look into the legal steps to take to make it official.