Do you have minor children? If so, have you considered choosing a legal guardian who you would want to raise your kids if you and/or their other parent suddenly passed away?
While you may have a few thoughts in your mind about who would be best suited for the role (grandparents, aunts, uncles), if you don’t legally document your choices, a judge will dictate where your kids are raised if something happens to you. This is true even if you have family members who are willing and able to help; a judge will ultimately decide what he or she thinks is best for your family.
If you want to be the one to decide how and with whom your kids are raised, you’ll need to hand-select a guardian and then legally document your choice. The following questions can help you narrow your options if you are unsure of who to appoint to this role:
- Does your choice have the necessary maturity, experience, temperament, patience, and stamina to raise your children?
- Does your choice have a genuine interest in your children’s welfare, either through family relationship or personal friendship?
- Is your choice physically able to undertake the care of an additional child or children? If they have other kids already, can their home comfortably accommodate adding yours?
- Is your choice willing to be a legal guardian?
- Does the age of your choice pose any problem?
- Does your choice have a financial lifestyle comparable to your own?
- Does your choice live in the same geographical area as you? Would your children have to move to a new city or state?
- How similar are your choices’ values or views on life to your own?
While the thought of someone else raising your children may be the last thing you want to think about, choosing a legal guardian and legally documenting your choice is necessary for their security and care if something happens. By deliberately putting off this matter, you ultimately leave the fate of your kids in the hands of a stranger.
Free e-book: The 7 Must-Dos When Naming Guardians for Your Kids
We created this to help you in making the best decisions possible for you and your family’s future. It all starts with making the right decisions for who will care for your kids when you cannot and ensuring their future, even a future without you in it, is protected.
Again, you know what’s best for your kids and naming guardians allows you to have a say in your children’s future. If you need help getting started with the process, we invite you to call our Irvine law office at (949) 333-3702 to set up a consultation.
Do You Have Any Questions?
Kevin Snyder is a husband, father, and an Orange County estate planning attorney at Snyder Law, PC in Irvine, California. He’s all about family and passionate about estate planning, elder law, and veterans. He founded Snyder Law to help families from Orange County, Los Angeles County, and Southern California plan to protect what matters most: their loved ones, their dignity, and their legacy.