Who Should I Appoint as the Guardian of my Children?

There are many reasons why you should have a will as part of your estate plan. One of the main things to consider is that a will is the only tool to appoint a guardian of your minor children. It is really important to appoint a guardian to ensure your children are cared for in your absence. Appointing a guardian can also help avoid a future family legal battle. Just as there are many considerations in estate planning, there are many things to weigh when deciding on who you should appoint as a guardian.

    A guardian has the legal responsibility to take personal care of your children when you, the parent, cannot. Appointing a guardian is a very personal decision, and possibly one of the most important ones to be made in the estate planning process, because he or she will be parenting your children or will have the responsibility of placing the child with someone who will parent them. Therefore, it is important to pick someone who:

  • loves your children
  • is responsible
  • is capable of raising your children
  • has values similar to yours
  • has a relationship with the children
  • is liked by the children
  • lives nearby so that the children do not get uprooted
  • will provide your children with easy access to their other relatives

After you have chosen someone to appoint as the guardian of your minor children, you should discuss your selection with that chosen individual. This will help ensure they are willing to take on the responsibility and are prepared for the possible caregiving they will have to do. You should also consider appointing an alternate guardian in the event that the first cannot fulfill the duties or changes his or her mind. You should review your choice frequently. People and circumstances change over time and you don’t want to short-change your family.

And remember, even if you have a trust, you still need a will; only a will can be used to appoint a guardian.

The Astill Law Office has provided high quality legal services for over 30 years. We specialize in wills, trusts, estate planning, and asset protection. If you have any questions about creating a Trust, Will, or estate planning in general, contact The Astill Law Office at 801-438-8698.