6 Steps to Select and Name the Right Guardians for Your Minor Children—Part 2

In Part 1 of our blog post, we shared the first part of our series on selecting and naming the right guardians for your children. Here in Part 2, we discuss the final three steps in the process.

  1. Narrow Candidate List and Rank Choices

When you’ve come up with all of the potential candidates for guardian, narrow down the list to your top five people. There’s no guarantee that your ideal candidate(s) will be willing to serve as guardian, so having more than one or two is a practical necessity.

To aide in this process, you should consider things such as who really loves your children and who do your kids really get along with? Will this person be physically, mentally, and emotionally able to raise your kids to adulthood? The most important thing is to choose someone, even if you aren’t 100% sure about them, since you can always select a new guardian later.

Then rank your choices from top choice down to last. Again, backups are critical in case your first choice cannot serve. 

  1. Discuss with Top Candidates

When it comes to asking someone to be your child’s guardian, you need to provide crystal-clear guidance about what’s involved. The discussion should cover all of your expectations about how you want your kids raised. Speak openly about finances, discipline, education, spirituality, and any needs that are unique to your children. 

Once the discussion is complete, give them a few days to carefully consider the choice, even if they seem immediately agreeable about doing it. Depending on the age of your kids, this could be a more than decade-long commitment. If they don’t carefully think it over, the responsibility can easily turn into resentment. 

  1. Legally Document Your Plan

It’s essential to legally document your choice as soon as possible. Verbal commitments mean nothing in the eyes of the law. This is especially true when you name a friend over a family member. 

As indicated in Part 1, you need more than just nominations of guardians in your will. You also need to have temporary guardians nominated in a separate document. Additionally, an emergency plan for babysitters, school administrators, coaches, and teachers is strongly recommended to ensure their safety. Documenting other information about your child including their physician’s contact information and medications, is also essential. A Kids Protection Plan includes all such documents. 

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