While it may seem excruciatingly difficult to imagine your child as an orphan, it is even more difficult to know if this is the case; the court will determine the fate of your child. Therefore, it is essential for all parents to nominate a guardian while the opportunity is available. When brainstorming potential candidates, remember to focus on the interests of your child. This allows you to generate a plan that will best meet your child’s needs. Further, it can ease tension between spouses eager to appoint a member of their side of the family. So long as the child’s interests are the main concern, each spouse will be able to objectively analyze the pros and cons of each candidate.
When deciding between candidates, it can be helpful to envision the hopes and dreams you have for your child. Based on what you envision, determine which potential guardian is best suited to aid your child in achieving these hopes and dreams. Also, consider your own moral values, parenting philosophies, and spiritual values as this can be important in choosing the proper guardian. Additionally, be cognizant of the personality traits of the potential guardians and whether they are conducive with your child’s personality and needs.
Finally, if, and when, you reach a decision, you may want to document why you chose this person. While a court would give strong consideration to the person you have chosen to appoint as guardian, in the unlikely event your choice is challenged by someone who believes he/she should have been chosen, a court should readily uphold your decision, knowing you’ve made your choice for good, thoughtful reasons.
Attorney Peters practices in the area of estate planning and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (603) 883-0797 extension 523.