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How do you choose a legal guardian for your kids?

Who will look after your kids if you pass away and How do you choose a legal guardian for them? That could be one of the hardest decisions you make when you’re writing your Will. Here’s seven things to think about when you’re choosing a legal guardian/s for your children.

7 Things to consider when choosing a legal guardian for your kids

  1. Age of your children – How old are your children? Are they babies, infants, primary or high school? who is best suited to raise that age group of kid?  Grandparents might cope with raising ‘almost adults’ but would they cope with babies?
  2. Location of Guardian Would the guardian/s need to move the children from their schools and/or family to be closer to where the guardian lives?  Is that okay with you?
  3. Work status – Does the guardian have a job that takes them away from home? How would that affect the children?
  4. Family status – Does the guardian have their own children? or are they planning on having children?  How would the family dynamic work if your children came into the mix?
  5. Financial resources – Would the guardian have the financial resources to raise your children, if you are unable to provide a financial legacy? Could you set up financial support like life insurance, to plan for the possibility of unexpected illness or death?
  6. Emotional resilience – Raising children, while rewarding, can be stressful.  Would the guardian cope with that responsibility?
  7. Religion, spirituality and values – Is spirituality or religion a key value that you want passed on to your kids? What are your other values? Would your chosen guardian be comfortable or able to bring your children up in line with those values? Have you discussed with them what your values are?

Have a conversation with your prospective guardians before you write your Will

Surprise! You’ve inherited two kids! Finding out from a solicitor is not how you want people to find out you’ve chosen them as guardians for your children! Take some time to have a coffee and a conversation with the people you would like to raise your children and be their guardians.  You might think they’re the perfect candidates for your kids, they may have very different ideas!

Review your choice of Guardian regularly

Big life changes, career, marriage, location, illness and death happen.  Set an annual date like a wedding anniversary, public holiday or birthday to review the guardians for your children.  That allows you to keep your Will as up to date as possible.

It’s a big and sometimes stressful decision to choose who looks after your children if you are no longer here but it’s good to remember that you can change the guardian at any time, by changing your Will. Just having a Will gives you peace of mind that you’re children will be looked after.

If you need help with your Will, Leonie Davey and Yeppoon Lawyers can help, call us on 07 4925 0229.