What questions should you ask when considering guardians?

The idea of having to leave your child in the care of another person may not sit well with you as a parent. However, you likely know that you cannot be around all the time, and there may even come a time when you cannot care for your child at all. Though everyone hopes that this type of situation will not come about, having a plan in place could act as a safeguard for the possibility.

You undoubtedly do not want your child to end up in the care of someone you would not have chosen yourself. Luckily, you have the ability to appoint a guardian for your child. As part of your estate planning process, you may wish to name a guardian in your will. Because this role has many responsibilities, you could wonder who would be the best candidate.

Factors to consider

A number of factors could go into your decision when it comes to choosing a guardian. You, like many other Pennsylvania residents, may want to appoint someone who would care for your child as you would yourself while also having the ability to provide proper care. Therefore, you may wish to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Who shares your parenting style, religious beliefs and family values?
  • Who has the greatest emotional, physical and financial stability to care for your child?
  • Does your child already have a close connection with a potential candidate?
  • Who has the most time to give to your child?
  • Would your child have to relocate when placed with a certain person?

Of course, you may want to remember that just because you have the perfect candidate in mind, it does not mean that he or she will be willing to take on the role. Acting as a guardian is a substantial and long-term responsibility. Having an open discussion about the possibility of naming someone as guardian may help you both decide whether he or she could fit the part.

Legally naming a guardian

Once you have made your guardianship decision, you will want to make sure that your choice is legally binding. If you do not provide the necessary documents, the state could end up placing your child with someone else. You may wish to speak with an estate planning attorney to better understand how to name a guardian and ensure that your wishes will be followed.

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