How do you select a guardian for your child?

You cannot imagine not raising your children or not being with them for years to come, but you know you must provide for them if the worst happens. How should you choose your children’s guardian?

Forbes offers guidance on selecting a guardian. Learn how to provide yourself and your children with peace of mind.

Note your values

What do you care about most regarding raising your children? Write your values regarding spirituality/religion, community, education and family. Whatever your values, be honest about them and how important they are to you.

Write your candidates

Using your values, make a list of people in your life who represent those values and would do a great job of instilling them in your children in a way you agree with. When noting potential guardians, you do not have to restrict your options to only immediate relatives. Do not write off unmarried individuals, as couples may break up in the coming years.

While narrowing your candidates, ask yourself which of them possesses the emotional and mental capacity to raise your children and become a proper role model. While you may like the idea of your friend of 20 years raising your kids, she or he may lack the patience to be around and raise children full time. Also consider geographic location, financial status and current family structure.

Notify your top choices

Becoming a child’s guardian should not come as a surprise. When you have your top candidates, have an open discussion with them about acting as guardian, making sure you ask if they feel up for the role. Give them time to think about their response.

You deserve to know you have someone to look after your children if you cannot. Designating a guardian in your will may help you sleep better at night.

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