Family Law Attorneys Helping Parents in Washington Determine Legal Guardians for Children
If you are a parent to minor children, perhaps the most challenging aspect of writing your will is choosing a legal guardian for your children in the event that you (or their other parent) can’t be there for them. While it is easiest to push that possibility out of our minds, the best thing for your children is to plan for even the worst circumstances in order to make certain that they have the best care and the financial support they need, no matter what.
Here are our ten best tips for choosing the right legal guardian for your child or children:
- Pick someone with shared values. This person or family will be raising your children, so be sure to select someone who will teach them the right lessons and point them in the right direction. Someone with the same religious beliefs, social values, educational values, and moral values will be a good fit. Also consider someone with a similar child-rearing philosophy.
- Consider friends as well as family. In some cases, blood relation is not the most important consideration, especially if you aren’t close with your relatives or if they are elderly. A friend with children your age who lives in your town may be an excellent choice–just be sure to run the idea past them and get approval before including them in your will.
- Consider location. If your children are older, consider their wants and needs. Would they cope better with their new circumstances if they could stay in the same town, surrounded by their support system? The environment your children will be in is just as important as the person who will be raising them.
- Pick someone with the energy. While grandparents can be an ideal choice in many cases, think about their health and age as well as the ages of your children. Asking your parents if they feel up to the job is one way you can determine if they are the best choice.
- Consider the financial situation. If you have life insurance and/or significant assets, then you do not have to consider the financial situation of your legal guardian. But if you can’t contribute financially at the time of your death, you may need to pick someone who is financially stable and who would not resent having to spend resources on your children (but really, you should get life insurance if you have children!).
- Consider your children’s wishes. Who are they most comfortable with? Who will love and comfort them? Who would they suggest if you asked them? While they might not always have the best ideas for their care, they might surprise you.
- Don’t choose out of guilt or social pressure. This is not the time to worry that your mother will be upset that she doesn’t get custody of your children if you die. Put all of those thoughts aside and pick the person who is in your child’s best interests.
Get Peace of Mind. Choose A Legal Guardian For Your Children Today
It’s easy to put off writing a will, especially because it comes with making a lot of hard decisions. However, making a will is the single best way that you can continue caring for your children in the event that you can no longer physically do so. At Blado Kiger Bolan, our Washington State family law attorneys and estate planning attorney can walk you through every step of the process and make certain your wishes are heard. To get started, please call us today at (253) 470-2356 or fill out our short online contact form.