There are many aspects of estate planning. For parents, one is to choose someone to be the guardian of their children.
This individual would play the role of the parents in the event both natural parents died before a child turns 18. Because of the importance of the role, parents should not take this decision lightly.
Types of guardianship
The U.S. News and World Report discusses that there are two types of guardians: One for the person and one for the estate. A guardian for the person is the individual who cares for the child on a daily basis. A guardian of the estate is the person who manages the child’s inheritance. One individual can also play both guardianship roles. If your child would stand to inherit significant assets, you may want to start a trust and assign a trustee rather than name a guardian of the estate.
Factors to consider when naming a guardian
FindLaw discusses some important aspects to consider when making a guardianship decision. Some things to look for in a guardian of the person include:
- Values that are similar to yours
- Good character
- Financial stability
- Someone who the child knows and loves
- Someone who lives close or is willing to move
It is better to name one individual, even if that person is in a marriage. This minimizes conflict in the event the relationship falls apart. You should name a backup guardian in the event the originally named guardian is unable to take on the role. You can also name different guardians for your children if you have a large family or feel like that would be better for everyone.