If you’re a parent, you likely put a lot of time and careful thought into choosing a guardian for your children when they were babies or toddlers. But, as time passes and your children grow, the person who initially would have made the perfect guardian might not seem like such a great choice.
For example, the grandmother or grandfather who was in perfect health ten years ago might be in a nursing home now. Or, the close family friend whom your children adored when they were preschoolers might have moved cross-country a few years ago. Would your kids – now pre-teens – even know them now?
If it’s been a few years since you picked a guardian for your children, now might be a good time to pull out your estate plan, and revisit your choice. Does it still make sense? If not, it’s time for an update! The considerations are the same as they were the first time around:
- Who, among your family and close friends, has values that are similar to your family’s?
- Who has similar ideas about raising children? Who has similar religious, moral, and educational views?
- Whose household would your children best fit into?
- Who do your children enjoy spending time with?
- Who lives close to you?
- Who would enjoy bringing your children into their home?
If you’re choosing a new guardian, be sure to choose a new alternate guardian as well. And, be sure to talk to both of your choices before you formally update your estate plan – just to make sure they’re able and willing to take on the job.