Planning for the care of your children if you die is one of the most important aspects of estate planning. If a legal guardian has to take over, the Children’s Bureau states that this person has the authority to make decisions concerning their education, basic care, protection and discipline.

You may struggle to pick a guardian for your minor children from your family members and friends. Making this decision may take time and extensive consideration, but there are factors to consider that can make this choice easier.

Consider these factors

You may think that your guardian would move into your home and care for your children immediately if you died, but it may be more realistic for your children to move in with the person you select. For this reason, think about where your guardian lives and if you would feel comfortable with your children living with him or her.

When you plan your estate and name a guardian, you should consider your religious, political and moral beliefs. Consider your guardian’s standing on these issues and if this person would raise your children with similar beliefs to yours.

You should also think about your potential guardian’s parenting skills. If he or she is already a parent, consider his or her parenting style. If he or she is not a parent, consider how well this person relates to children and if he or she could rise to the demands of parenting. 

Prioritize what is most important

There are many other factors to consider when naming a guardian, but you should prioritize what is most important to you. For example, even if you would prefer your guardian hold the same religious beliefs as you, you may still entrust your children’s care to him or her if he or she is financially stable and would be a good parent overall.

Additionally, do not forget to name a backup guardian in case your first choice cannot fill your requirements. Otherwise, the court may name a guardian for your children in the event of your death.