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5 considerations while picking a guardian

You want to pick a guardian for your child as you do your estate planning. You know how important it is. Where do you start?

This doesn't have to be a complex process, but it's important to take your time considering just how critical it is. Here are five things to think about:

  1. Do you want to pick multiple people? Perhaps you're worried that something could happen to you and the guardian at the same time, and you want a backup plan. Or perhaps you have three kids, and you don't want to put that entire responsibility on one family.
  2. Is the person financially secure? Children are expensive. If someone is just scraping by, even if they love the child, it may not be the right choice.
  3. Do you have the same values? You raised your child a certain way. You want to make sure that continues, generally speaking, even if you pass away.
  4. Does the person have a questionable background? You have to make the choice that is right for you, but experts warn against picking someone who has a criminal record, for instance, or a person with known alcohol problems.
  5. Have you talked to them? Do not pick someone without saying anything in advance. Sit down together for a meal and talk it over. Get them to agree before you get everything in writing. You both need to be on the same page about everything.

When you do all of this, be sure you also consider the exact legal steps that you have to take to make it official and ensure that there are no problems for your family or your kids moving forward.

Source: FindLaw, "Ten Things to Think About: Choosing a Guardian for Your Child," accessed Nov. 24, 2017

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