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Estate Planning & Probate Specialists

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What should you consider when considering guardian candidates?

Although no parent likes the idea of not being around or being able to care for his or her children, it is a real possibility. You may never want to consider a time when a sudden accident, illness or other event takes you out of your child’s life, but it could happen to you or anyone. As a result, you undoubtedly want to prepare as best as possible.

Preparation does not mean avoiding any activity that could potentially put you in harm’s way. Constantly dwelling on the possibility of death and its repercussions is not good for anyone. Still, you may want to take the time to create an estate plan and use your will to name a guardian for your child in the event that one is needed.

A big decision

Even if you think that your child will never need another guardian, choosing someone is still important. Additionally, it is prudent to give considerable thought to your choice. Speaking with the person you hope to take on the role is wise because he or she could have reservations about being placed in such an important position or may simply be unable to altogether. In addition, even if you appoint someone in your will, the court could deem that person unfit to act as guardian if necessary.

When thinking about guardian candidates, it is important to remember that you could appoint a guardian of the estate, or someone to handle your child’s financial affairs, and a guardian of the person, or someone to care for the child. You could choose one person to act in both roles or choose multiple individuals. To aid in your decision-making, you may want to consider the following factors about your potential candidates:

  • Having shared values with you and your family so that they will instill those values in your child
  • Having financial stability so that they will have the means and ability to care for your child
  • Matching skills that would suit the role of guardian of the estate or guardian of the person
  • Being of a relatively young age in order to remain around long enough to care for your child until adulthood
  • Having strong moral character

Of course, when making this decision, you may have personal considerations to make as well. When you do come to a final choice and your candidate has agreed, it is important that you put your decision into your will to ensure that it is legally binding. Discussing this part of your estate planning process with a Texas attorney is wise.