Creating an estate plan brings you face-to-face with a variety of difficult decisions. For example, you need to think long and hard about the best way to protect your children in the event of your premature death.
Choosing a guardian for your children under the age of 18 is important. And since it's so important, it's not always easy to make a timely and final decision.
Here are several details to consider when choosing a guardian:
- Stability: You don't want to choose a guardian who maintains an unstable life. An example is someone who doesn't live in the same place for long periods of time. Stability is a must during this difficult time, as it will help your children get back on track.
- Similar parenting style: Choose a guardian who has a similar parenting style, to protect your children against yet another change. You may never find someone who shares the exact same approach to parenting, but a close match is possible.
- You can name more than one guardian: It may not be the ideal situation, but you can name a different guardian for different children. This is often the best decision if you have several children and don't want to weigh one guardian down with too much responsibility.
- Age and health: Choose a guardian who is healthy and not in the latter stages of their life. If you choose an older individual, there's a chance they may not be around or have the energy to keep up with raising your children. The same holds true if you choose someone in poor health.
- Talk about it: Never name a guardian without first talking to the person about your intentions. Don't assume a person will agree to this, as you never know what someone is thinking until you talk it out. Adding to this, never force someone to take on this task. Doing so can lead to trouble in the future.
These are among the most important details to consider when choosing a guardian for your children.
Once you settle on the right person or people, add this to your estate plan. This final step will give you the peace of mind you've been searching for.