How to Select a Guardian For Your Minor Child

Legal Article

How to Select a Guardian For Your Minor Child

If you have minor children, perhaps the most important component of your estate plan has nothing to do with your assets. Rather, it involves the decisions regarding who will care for your minor children if you are no longer capable of doing so. This is commonly known as “NOMINATION OF GUARDIAN FOR MINOR CHILDREN”. The selection of a guardian for minor children is one of the toughest decisions that a parent has to make during estate planning. Understanding how to select a guardians for your minor child ensures that your children will receive the financial and social care they need to succeed.

How to Narrow Down your Potential Guardians

When selecting a guardian for your minor child, first, make a list of people whose values, morals, and judgment are most congruent with yours. Once you have a preliminary list, further narrow down your selections by people who are financially able to be a guardian to your children. The combination of morals, values, judgment, and financial stability is critical to selecting an effective guardian for your minor children. Once you have done this, consult with a trusted attorney to have a will prepared which provides for the nomination of a guardian for your minor child.

How to Select a Guardian for Your Child

While we often focus on the values, morals, and judgment, often parents neglect the financial impact of a guardian. Thus, I like to remind clients of a few questions they should ask themselves once they have made their list of people with the right morals, values, and judgment to be guardian to their children:

First: “Will the guardian be capable of managing your children’s assets?”

Raising children is a daunting task in and of itself. It is critical to make sure that your selection of a guardian is also up to the task of managing any assets that may be set aside for the benefit of your children. If you prefer, you may select separate guardians for your children and their assets. This can ensure that your children and their assets receive the best care.

Second: “Is the person you have selected financially stable?” 

Often parents select guardians for their children without consideration as to whether their selection is financially capable of handling another child. You may want to have a family member take over raising your child. However, a close friend who is financially stable may be better fit for the job. For example, your sister who already has three children may not be in a financial position to accept another child into her home. As we all know there are a lot of hidden costs in raising children. Thus, having a discussion with your prospective guardian can ensure that your decision doesn’t create a financial burden for someone.

You may see it as a must for your child to attain a college-level education. Furthermore, your child may need substantial healthcare throughout there lives. In either scenario, you must ensure that they are raised in a financially stable home. Without this, they may not receive the care necessary so that they can succeed.

Third: “Will the home of your prospective choice for guardian accommodate your children?”

Imagine your prospective guardian lives in an apartment or a four-bedroom house with three children of their own. In either scenario, how will they properly accommodate your children? This plays into both the social and financial selection of a guardian. Even for a financially stable guardian, buying a new house to accommodate for your children may be outside of their financial means. This plays into the social aspect as well. You do not want your child to grow up sleeping on a couch without proper belongings. Even more important, you do not want them to feel like a burden because of this.

Contact our DC Law Office for More Information

For more information regarding how to select a guardian for your minor child, please contact Antonoplos & Associates at 202-803-5676. You can also directly schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys.