Top 7 Things to Consider When Nominating a Guardian for Your Child:
1) Money. You want your child to have every opportunity in life and to have all that he will ever need. Taking into consideration, the financial ability of the prospective guardian is important. While you are able to leave your money and other assets to your child, it is important to make sure that the potential guardian has the financial resources to be a parent.
2) Age. How old is the person who you want to take care of your children. At the time you make your will, you may wish for the child’s grandparents to take on this responsibility. However, how old will those grandparents be in 5, 10, 20 years? Will they be able to handle caring for a toddler? Will they still be around to watch your child graduate from high school?
3) Location. Do you want your child to be able to live in the same area that they have up to the point you pass away. Removing a child from his/her home is traumatic enough. Nominating a guardian who lives out of state or some other distance away may require your child changing schools, leaving his friends, or even removing him from other family members who can provide him with comfort during this difficult time.
4) Personal and Religious Values. You have spent a great deal of time instilling within your children all of you core values in an effort to help them lead the best life possible. Make sure that the guardian you choose to take over this job shares some of the same core values that you would want your children to practice during their life.
5) Family. It is always important to take into consideration family ties. When a child loses a parent(s), allowing that child to live and be cared for by another family member may facilitate a strong family connection and support system immediately following the death. Also, if you have more than one child, it is important to specifically provide that all your children remain together (if this is what you desire).
6) Household. When choosing a guardian for your child, you must also consider the type of household the guardian lives in. Who else lives in the home you are sending your child to? Will there be other children his/her age? What kind of influences will be around your child?
7) Lifestyle. You have voluntarily chosen to become a parent but not all people have reached that point in their lives. While you may wish for a particular family member to watch over your children, their lifestyle may not cater to this responsibility. It is important to take into consideration the lifestyle that a potential guardian has in order to prevent any feelings of resentment or hostility towards your child.
The above considerations are just suggestions; none of them should be taken alone but rather all together. The most important thing to do when you are establishing your will or trust and creating a guardianship nomination for your child is to have an honest and sincere conversation with the potential guardian. Express your concerns, desires and appreciation to them for taking on this responsibility. Also, listen to their concerns and carefully contemplate whether they would be the best choice for your child.