The Importance of Appointing a Legal Guardian in Your Will

When you have children, as a parent you have a responsibility to plan ahead to ensure that your children will be protected if something unexpected happens. One key situation to consider is what will happen to your children if for any reason you are unable to care for them. By appointing a legal guardian, you have the peace of mind of knowing that even if something happens to you, your children will be safe.

Choosing a Guardian

When deciding on a guardian for your children, the best choice may not be the most obvious choice. You may think that one particular family member or close friend would make a great guardian, but perhaps this person is somehow ill-equipped to care for your children. The following list of considerations is a good guideline to follow to make sure that your prospective guardian would be a good choice for your children:

Does the person already know your children? Do they have an established relationship? Do your children trust and feel comfortable around this person?
Is the person financially capable of caring for your kids?
Does this person have a stable family life? Are they settled or do they move frequently?
Does this person have a parenting philosophy similar to your own? Do they share the same beliefs and values? Will he or she encourage good habits in your children?
Is the person healthy enough to care for your children in the long term?

Making a Guardian a Legal Guardian

If you already have someone in mind to care for your children, you must make the appointment legal in order for their guardianship to be official. Simply calling someone your children’s guardian or godparent is not the same as appointing a guardian. Naming a guardian in your will is a legally binding way to ensure that care of your children passes to the guardian you choose.

If you do not specify a guardian in your will, if something happens to you the state may appoint a guardian that you do not approve of. Typically the state will confer guardianship to a close family member, but their choice may not align with yours. It is therefore extremely important to make the guardianship appointment legal to protect your and your children’s interests.

For More Information and Assistance

Appointing a legal guardian can be a difficult decision for a parent to make, but it is crucial to ensure that, if something happens to you, your children will be raised in a safe environment and in a manner that you approve of.