Embracing your children is among the everyday highlights in your life. Their voices, their scents and their presence just make you feel on top of the world. You love them and provide for them the best that you know how. You do not want these scenes to ever end. But what if they do?
People often avoid talking about death. Mortality seems to be an off-limits subject. However, death can happen at any time, and you must be prepared as the parent of young children. If you do not have an estate plan, you had better get started. And, within that estate plan, you have crucial decisions to make. One of them is choosing a guardian for your children.
Similar values, loving home, financial ability
The guardian of your children will take your place. That is why you need to make sure that you select the right person or persons to fill your role, provide them with love, support and the financial means for which you were able to do.
When choosing a guardian, here is a list of issues to consider:
- Similar values in life: What is important to you should be important to the person you choose to be your children’s guardian. Think of things such as kindness, togetherness, religion and moral values as well as education, volunteerism, physical activity and the arts. And make sure you are comfortable with their parenting style.
- Having financial stability: Does the person have the financial wherewithal to care and raise your children. You do not want to cause a financial burden to this person, but you also want to make sure your children have similar opportunities that they would have had in your home.
- Solid character and parenting skills: Make sure the person is reliable, honest, emotionally stable and already has demonstrated good parenting skills.
- Think long-term: A person who is young enough and healthy enough passes muster and would be around to care and love for your children for a long time. Although your parents may seem like a good choice, their age is a drawback. They may not be around long enough.
- The right fit in the family: Will your children fit in seamlessly with their family? Understand the family dynamic and make sure the guardian will love them.
Make sure you talk to any prospective guardian and ask them about their comfort level in this role. This is a big and important decision that affects the lives of the people you love, cherish and value.