American Indian Owned Law Firm

Choosing a guardian in an estate plan

On Behalf of | Jun 17, 2024 | Probate & Estate Planning

When you start making your estate plan, you may want to select a potential guardian. Perhaps you and your spouse recently had a child. As new parents, you want to make sure that your child will always be cared for. Picking a guardian for them is one way that you can do this. If you pass away unexpectedly, the guardian takes over a parental role.

Often, people feel like the most natural fit is to choose their own parents. For one thing, the children likely already feel comfortable around the grandparents and have a close relationship. For another, the parents know that they can trust the grandparents to truly love and care for the children. Finally, the parents and grandparents likely have a somewhat similar parenting style, making things go more smoothly for those children.

Why would grandparents be the wrong choice?

The factors above address why grandparents may be a good choice as guardians, but they are not always the optimal choice. The thing to remember is that your guardian may need to take care of your child for a substantial amount of time. If they’re going to raise the child until they’re 18, will they be able to do it?

The problem with choosing grandparents is that they often seem fully capable when the children are young. But by the time your child is a teenager, your own parents may have experienced mental or physical decline. You have to consider the effects of aging and how they may impact their ability to care for the child until adulthood.

Every situation is unique, but it’s important to know how to pick the right guardian in an estate plan. If you’re going through this process, carefully consider all of your legal options.