My spouse and I are redoing our wills. How do we choose a guardian for our child, and how many guardians should we have?
The guardian is a person you nominate to care for your child if something happens to you, but the court ultimately makes the decision. To ensure your choice is honored, consider selecting several different guardians, such that if the first or second choice can’t do it, there are still remaining options.
Many people select a guardian as a way to honor someone they love or trust. A better tactic is to think seriously about who is best equipped to raise your child. A good guardian should:
- Already have a relationship with your child.
- Be patient, and able to care for a child dealing with the trauma of the loss of a parent.
- Be in reasonably good health.
- Be very likely to live until the child is an adult. Many parents pick their own parents, but if they die, your child will be left without a guardian.
- Not have drug addiction or other problems.
- Love your child, and be willing to raise him or her. Don’t select a guardian who already is overwhelmed.
- Have a similar parenting style to your own.