Make no mistake, the thought of having someone else care for your child is awful. However, if you have minor children, it makes sense to have this conversation, either with your child’s other parent or your estate planning expert.
Including guardianship in your will can give you peace of mind knowing that your minor child will receive the care and parenting you approve of should something happen to you and the other parent. Without a legal guardian, the state of Louisiana would have to make this decision for you – and you might not want this.
What do you look for in a potential guardian?
Of course, the decision regarding who will be the legal custodian of your child should something happen is one that you do not want to take lightly. Every household is unique and so are every child’s needs. As such, the choice of a guardian is certainly personal. That said, here are helpful considerations when designating a guardian for your child:
- Age: As kids grow, their needs are bound to change. Thus, while choosing a guardian, it is important that you take your child’s age, as well as your potential guardian’s, into account. Keep in mind that you are looking for a guardian who will be around and care for your child until they turn 18, hopefully. Thus, while your parents or grandparents may be great candidates for this role, it is important that you are mindful of their health and ability to care for your child, especially if they are advanced in age.
- Moral values and religious beliefs: Ideally, you want a guardian who shares the same moral and spiritual values as you do. This will ensure that they bring up your child with the values that you approve of.
Guardianship is a very complicated legal and emotional undertaking. Find out how you can appoint a guardian that will be mindful of your child’s best interests.