Spiro J. Verras Blog

Monday, January 23, 2017

Selecting a Guardian Requires Careful Consideration

What qualities should I look for in a guardian for my children

New parents take on a number of responsibilities and having a child is a big adjustment. While becoming a parent is a wonderful experience, it is also a time to start thinking about the future. Of course, no one wants to think about dying or the chance that their child will be left without a parent. But new parents must ask themselves who will care for their children if they die.

The best way to answer this question is to engage the services of an experienced estate planning attorney who can draft a will. This basic estate planning document accomplishes a number of objectives. In addition to establishing how a person's assets should be distributed after death, a will is the only way in which to name guardians who will be responsible for caring for children.

There are a number of factors that come into play when naming guardians, not the least of which is family relationships. In some cases, couples will consider brothers and sister or other close relative. On the other hand, choosing long-time friends may be a better option. At times, spouses may disagree, which makes open and honest communication critical.

In the end, it's a question of values. The guardians you select should share your philosophy about child rearing, your spiritual beliefs and your moral values. Not only must guardians have maturity and patience, it is important for them have the necessary financial resources. In this regard, a well thought out will can include a trust that is designed to provide for a child's needs.

Obviously, the individuals that you are considering to act as guardians must be ready, willing and able to do so. They must also be emotionally intelligent and be physically capable of raising children. Often times, the best guardians are people who already have a close relationship with the children.

While no one wants to think about the possibility of raising their children, by failing to plan ahead the court will step in to make these decisions and select guardians. For this reason, it is crucial for new parents to consult with an estate planning attorney.

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