If you and your spouse pass away unexpectedly, or if you’re a single parent, you need to be sure that someone will be there to take care of your child. Estate planning is how people tend to address this. You can use your plan to choose a guardian to care for your child in the event that this becomes necessary.
In fact, this is why it’s important for young people to do their estate planning, and not just the elderly. Estate planning doesn’t just address financial assets. It does a lot more. So what should you look for in a guardian for your child?
The willingness to take on the role
First and foremost, you definitely need to talk to the guardian to make sure that they are willing to do it. This is a major responsibility. It could change their life forever. If you want someone who is excited about that opportunity, not resentful of the change.
A similar personality
In some ways, you may want to look for someone who is similar to you. This can make things easier for your child. For instance, that person may have a similar parenting style and use similar disciplinary methods with their own children. This makes it easier for your child to fit in without having to relearn everything about how their world works.
The right age and financial ability
Finding the right person can be difficult because they need to be financially able to take care of your child, but they also need to be young enough that they could take on this role for as long as necessary. Grandparents often seem like a good decision, because they love the child, and they are certainly financially stable, but they may not be healthy enough to care for a child for the next 18 years. You need to try to find a way to balance these qualities.
After you do find a guardian for your child, then it’s time to make an estate plan to officially set it up. Be sure you know what steps to take.