While it can be unpleasant to think about, if you have minor children it’s recommended that you name a guardian in your estate plan in the event you and your spouse are deceased. The decision to name a guardian can be difficult for many people and you may worry that you’ll alienate friends or family by the choice you make. Because the process is so challenging for many parents, Forbes offers the following advice.
Be Clear on Your Values
Your personal values inform your parenting style quite a bit. As a result, when considering potential guardians, you want to make sure that their values line up with your own in ways that are important to you. For instance, if you want to your child to be immersed in arts and culture you may want to select a guardian who also hold these things dear. The same can be said of religious and spiritual beliefs, which many families find solace in.
Pick a Few Candidates
Once you’re clear on which values are important, pick out a few candidates that meet your needs. Next, you want to make some practical considerations. Is this person financially stable? Does he or she have the kind of lifestyle that is amenable towards child rearing? Does the person already have children? Answering these questions honestly can help you narrow down your selection.
Create or Update Your Will
Once you’ve made the decision and received confirmation on your choice, the last step is to include it in your will. Even if you have a verbal agreement with the guardian the court might not honor your selection unless it’s explicitly state with your estate plan. If you already have a will in place, be sure to update it with this new information as soon as possible.