Attorney & Mediator
Attorney & Mediator

How to pick a Guardian.

We all expect to walk beside our children through infancy, elementary school, high school and college.  We dream about the beautiful wedding they will have and look forward to the day that we welcome our grandchildren.

The sad truth is that this is does not happen for everyone.  Whether due to illness or accident, some of us cannot be present until our baby is 18.  Therefore, it is important to have the Guardian talk.

How do you decide on a Guardian?  Often, the parents don’t immediately agree on an individual.  If you are both close to your families, this can be difficult as you may be required to select one over another.

Other times, there are conflicts in families that have created a separation or estrangement.

Should it be a family member?  First, you should look at the lifestyle of your family members.  Does it reflect who you have become?

While we may love our parents and siblings, they may not share the values that we have developed.  If you look back and don’t agree with your parents’ child rearing techniques, they may not be good candidates.  If you think that your nieces and nephews are too wild, too sedentary, not studious enough, then your sibling may not be the best selection.

If you were both to die, your child or children would be in a great state of shock.  It should not be made even more difficult by thrusting them into a different lifestyle.

You may want to look at your close friends who share your values.  Would these people be more appropriate a choice?

Next, look at age.  If you have had children later in life, it is possible that your parents may be too old to take on this task.  While it is acceptable for someone 65 to be raising a small child, how will they do when the child is 16 and they are 80?

Of vital importance is to discuss this issue with the individuals you would like to nominate.  While they may love you and your children, they may not be able or willing to raise additional children if something were to happen to you.  The person who is ably raising a family of four children may not be able to take on an additional three.

Once you have made your decision and have discussed it with the potential Guardian, you need to put this in writing in a Last Will and Testament.  This will direct the Probate Court as to your decision upon this very important issue.