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Choosing a Guardian for Your Minor Children

Posted by Lauren Rios | Sep 24, 2018 | 0 Comments

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How to Choose the Right Guardian for Your Children

The question that many couples struggle with is who to nominate as their children's guardian to care for their minor children in the event of their deaths. If you're struggling with this question then you should feel very fortunate because it likely means that you have more than one individual in mind that you think would make the best decisions for your children. While this decision can cause some vacillation, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • The person you nominate as guardian may not be called to act as guardian for many years, so you should consider whether the person you nominate would be willing or able to act should the need arise (e.g., what stage in their life will they be in 5, 10, 15 years). It's always a good idea to nominate alternate guardians in the event your primary guardian cannot or will not act.
  • Along those lines, you may want to consider someone who is younger and in good health. 
  • You should also nominate someone who your children are familiar with and someone who interacts wells with children. 
  • Your guardian should also support your children visiting their other family members if that is important to you and your children. 
  • While it is not a requirement, you may want to choose a married couple to act as joint guardians. As you know, it takes a village to raise a child. Having the assistance of two spouses may meet your children's needs. If you choose to nominate a married couple, you should make provisions in the event of a divorce (e.g., would you prefer one spouse over the other to act as the sole guardian).
  • Do you prefer that the guardian live locally? in California? While it is not a requirement that the guardian live in California, you may prefer to choose someone local so as to minimize the disruption in your children's lives. 

You may be thinking to yourself, "My cousin would make a great guardian because she cares for our children and they love her, but I'm not sure she could handle the financial responsibilities involved." If this sounds like your situation, you have another option: you can choose different individuals to act as the "guardian of the person" (i.e., the person responsible for the personal care of the minor) and "guardian of the estate" (i.e., the person handling the minor's money and making investment decisions). If you have questions about this or would like to nominate a guardian for your minor children, feel free to contact the Law Office of Lauren Rios by filling out the contact form below. 

About the Author

Lauren Rios

Attorney Lauren Rios established her estate planning process on the philosophy that everyday people deserve access to the exemplary services of a big firm, but with the personal touch of a smaller firm. This belief is reflected in her delivery provided to her clients in the Bay Area.

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