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What to consider when choosing a guardian for your child

| Sep 11, 2020 | Estate Planning |

The idea of your child growing up without you undoubtedly sends a stabbing feeling to your heart. After all, you want to watch your child grow and experience the milestones that come along with becoming a capable adult. Of course, as much as you hope and intend to be around for all of those milestones, the possibility exists that an accident, illness or injury could take you out of your child’s life.

Though gut-wrenching to think about, it is important that you consider who you would want to raise your child in the event that you and the other parent cannot. By planning ahead, you can take the time to consider important factors and make the best decision possible for your circumstances and for your child.

Details to take into account

When you think of a potential guardian for your child, a person or couple may immediately come to mind. While this first thought may be a good starting point, you may not want to simply stop your considerations there. Making a list of potential guardian candidates and looking at the following details for each could help you make a solid decision:

  • Values and religion: You may have a particular set of values you want to instill in your child, and choosing a guardian who holds those same values or religious beliefs may be important to you.
  • Age: Though your parents may come to mind as guardians, if they have already reached their elderly years, they may not have the capability of caring for your child in the future, if the need arises. A young adult may not be the wisest choice either, if he or she is not particularly responsible.
  • Health: Even if a candidate is of an acceptable age, he or she may have health issues that could affect the ability to properly care for your child if needed.
  • Couples or individuals: You may think at first that a couple would be best to raise your child, but even if a couple seems happy now, a divorce could occur later. As a result, you may want to consider naming an individual as guardian, even if that individual is married.
  • Location: Children are highly adaptable, so while you may not want to think about uprooting your child to live with a relative who lives outside of Florida, focus more on whether the person is the best candidate for guardianship rather than just on where he or she lives.

Deciding who should take over the care of your child is certainly not a decision to make lightly. However, it is one that you need to make. Once you have chosen your guardian candidate and he or she has agreed, make sure to put your wishes in a legally binding will.