After you have a child, your estate plan will need to change to reflect these changes in your life. This includes establishing a trust to prepare for their college fund to adding them as a beneficiary to your will. One issue that requires careful consideration is choosing a guardian for your child.
Think about the values you want to teach your child.
When you first learned that you were welcoming a new child to your family, you probably had many values that you wanted to share with them. You may have wanted to share your faith, raise them to be kind or encourage them to pursue their passions in education, sports or the arts. Listing out these values can help you keep them in mind when choosing a guardian for your child.
Consider individuals as well as couples.
While it may be tempting to name a married couple who are already great parents to their own children, it is important not to limit yourself to couples. The couples you know may find it difficult to give your child the attention they need in an already busy family, and the single people in our life may make excellent parents.
As What to Expect notes, naming a couple can also cause difficulties if that couple happens to divorce in the future. If you select a couple, consider naming just one person in that pair to act as your child’s guardian in case of divorce.
Discuss your decision with the person before you name them as your child’s guardian.
Choosing a person who will uphold your values or who you think will be a great parent is only one step in naming a guardian. It is also essential that you discuss this decision with the person or people that you want to act as your child’s guardian. This allows you to discuss both your wishes for your child’s care and their concerns.
With careful thought, you can choose a guardian that you trust to raise your child well and protect them if you cannot be there for your child.