If you die or become incapacitated and you have a minor child, the other parent would naturally take up your child’s upbringing. To do so, however, they must have parental responsibility. But what if the other parent cannot step forward and assume the guardianship of the child?
If the other parent is not around to look after the child, the court will make this important decision for you – and your child might end up with a stranger. This is why it is crucial that you designate a guardian for your child when creating your will. But how do you appoint a guardian for your child?
Appointing a guardian for your minor child
The most straightforward way to designate a guardian for your child is through your will. However, you can have a separate note as long as it comes with clear instructions and it is dated and signed by you.
As far as your choice of guardian is concerned, the decision is entirely up to you. This means that a family or close friend can serve as your child’s guardian. Ideally, you want someone who already has a close relationship with your child. Besides the closeness with the child, some of the things you should consider when appointing a guardian include:
- Their location – you basically do not want to uproot your child from their school, friends or close relatives that they have grown fond of. For this reason, it makes sense to have a guardian who lives close by.
- Their age and health – your child might be your grandma’s favourite great grandkid. But do they have the energy to care for your child till they become adults?
- Their values – you most certainly want a guardian who shares the same morals and life outlook as you do.
There is more to creating an estate plan than simply deciding who will inherit your assets when you pass on. If you have minor children, it is important that you name guardians for them in your will.