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Factors to consider when selecting your child’s guardian

When you have a child, you constantly have to make a lot of tough decisions — and that’s especially true when you’re thinking about important issues like what would happen to your child if you’re not around to raise them.

Deciding who you want as your child’s guardian if something happens to you before they reach adulthood isn’t easy. Here are some of the questions you need to ask before you make your selection.

Who is willing to serve as your child’s guardian?

It’s absolutely essential that you find out which people on your list of prospective guardians are willing to serve in that role. It’s a big job, and not everybody is willing to take on that kind of responsibility.

You also need to consider the possibility that you may need to name both a first choice and a backup choice — just in case the first choice becomes unable to serve for some reason.

What do you know about your prospective guardian’s parenting style?

The person you appoint as your kids’ guardian should support your parenting style and have a similar belief system to your own. You may find it comforting to know that your appointee will raise your kids similarly to you if you can’t do so yourself. 

How stable are your potential guardian’s home life and health?

You’ll want to consider how solid of a relationship your prospective guardian has with their partner, how well their kids get along with yours and their health when selecting a guardian. 

Formalizing your guardianship relationship

Neither appointing godparents nor having verbal agreements about what you’d like to happen to your child if something happened to you are legally binding. You’ll need to document this information in a properly executed will for it to carry any weight in a court of law.