If you are the parent of children who are still under the age of 18, then you must name a guardian for them in your estate plan. Falling to do so will mean that a court will choose one if you and the other parent both died before the children turn 18. While it will hopefully never happen, it could, so it is best to prepare.
Here are some of the things to consider when making your choice:
Do their values align with yours?
Let’s say your first choice is your sister-in-law. You’ve seen her with her kids, and she is a great mother. The only issue is that her husband has some entrenched old-school views about things. Hearing them a few times a year at Thanksgiving and other get-togethers is one thing, but how would living in a house with those views affect your kids?
Do they have the practical ability?
Just because someone is great at raising their kids does not mean they can take on more. You’d need to have a serious conversation to determine if they have the financial means to feed another mouth and the space for another person.
How much will it disrupt your child’s life?
If you are in the lucky position of having two people who would be willing and able, then their location could play an influence. If one lives in the same town, meaning your child could continue at the same school and retain the same friends, it might be better than uprooting them to the other side of the country at what will already be a tough time for them.
Hopefully, you will never need to call on the guardian, but having a plan in place is reassuring.