Choosing a guardian is an important part of estate planning. Whether you have minor children, an adult child with special needs, or an aging loved one who needs someone to look after them in case you pass away or become incapacitated, if you don’t feel comfortable letting the courts decide for you, there are several things you need to consider before making your choice official.
Choosing a Guardian
When you pick someone to serve as a guardian for your loved ones, you want to ensure that they will have someone reliable to count on, no matter what your loved ones’ needs are. You can accomplish this by including a valid will and a designation of guardian form in your estate plan. But before you create these legal documents and name a guardian, you should ask yourself these questions.
10 Questions to Ask
These questions will help you decide whether your intended guardian is a good choice:
- Does the person have the financial means to support your loved one?
- Does the person have integrity and a reputation for honesty?
- Has the person ever been in trouble with the law?
- Has the person ever had a problem with substance abuse?
- Is the person in good health?
- Does the person have enough time to devote to your loved one’s needs?
- Does the person handle his or her own affairs in a responsible manner?
- Is the person related to your loved one, and if not, are they close enough to your loved one to know what their wishes would be?
- Will the person be able to carry out all the duties associated with being a guardian?
It is also critical to choose someone who can serve as a guardian in case your first choice passes away or becomes incapacitated.
Other Things to Consider When Choosing a Guardian
Becoming a guardian often requires cooperation with third parties, such as other relatives, so it is important to choose someone who will make the required effort to work with others. It is also important to consider whether your intended guardian has the education and skills necessary to take care of your loved one’s finances and medical needs.
Get Help Choosing a Guardian for Your Loved One
As a guardianship and estate planning attorney, I know what it takes to be a guardian. I can tell you that choosing the right guardian for your children or loved one is possibly the most important decision you will make when creating an estate plan. If you need help creating an estate plan that includes a designated guardian, I can help you ensure that you have everything in place that is necessary to make your decision official.
Want to learn more about how I can help you and your family? Don’t hesitate to get in touch with me today so that we can discuss your needs and the needs of your loved one.