You probably resist the thought of someone else raising your child. However, if you do not name someone to take over for you if the worst happens, a judge may decide where your child will live. We at the law office of Dale & Eke often counsel parents on how to choose the right guardian for their child.
Forbes suggests that you consider several factors before you begin making the list of candidates for guardianship. For example, is a religious upbringing one of your primary concerns? Will the person you choose encourage your child to pursue a higher education? What values and character qualities are important for the guardian to model for your child? Perhaps most importantly of all, you want to find someone who will love and cherish your child.
From the list of people who meet your criteria, you must then determine further whether each is financially, emotionally and mentally capable of raising your child. Distance may also matter, as uprooting your child from his or her home at a traumatic moment to move across the country may cause even more difficulties. You should also consider the family and friends of the person you choose, as those people are likely to spend quite a bit of time with your child over the years.
Once you have identified someone, and an alternate in case of an emergency, you need to speak to this person and make sure that he or she – or they, if you are choosing a couple – consent to the responsibility. Your final step in making it official is naming the guardian and the alternate in your will. More information about writing your will is available on our webpage.