If you and your spouse are seeking out a guardian for your only child in the event of your deaths, it can seem like a deceptively simple process. However, it is easy to forget some things that may be important down the road. Here are some suggestions for things you should be focusing on when you select a guardian.
Consider Non-Family Members
Your first thought may have been that you'll select a guardian that you are related to. However, that may not be the best choice for your child. Your parents might not feel good about taking on such a responsibility as they age, and your siblings may not share your temperament or your personal beliefs.
Instead of choosing your family just because they are family, try to evaluate your family members as parents independent of your relation to them. You may find that you have close friends or know other people that are a better match for your child.
Remember Spouses of Possible Guardians
You may want your brother to raise your child, but what happens if your brother gets a divorce? Do you have faith that he will choose a suitable future spouse to raise your child? Remember that the person or persons you select as a legal guardian for your only child may indeed get married, divorced or remarried throughout your child's life and choose accordingly.
If you have chosen a couple to raise your child and would prefer they share the responsibility of raising your child even if they should divorce, it is important to say so directly in any legal planning documents.
Consider Temporary Guardians
It is a good idea to designate a temporary guardian for your child. Should you and your spouse ever be injured when you're together or detained outside of the country for some reason, it is important that the both of you make a decision about where your child should go until you are recovered or return.
Naming a temporary guardian can also be helpful if the permanent guardian you select has to travel a great distance to get to your child. So that your child is cared for according to your wishes, you may want to have a temporary guardian picked out.
Consider the tips laid out above when selecting the appropriate guardian for your only child Consult an attorney like Burford Law Firm LLC who can help you make the right decisions about guardianship.