After having children, a will becomes even more critical to draft. Why? For starters, you need to ensure your children get the financial and physical care they need if you are unavailable for whatever reason.
One of the biggest decisions when drafting a will is designating a guardian for your children. Choosing the person or people charged with caring for your kids should the unthinkable occur requires a certain amount of thought and discussion. Follow these tips to help get the process going.
1. Stable lifestyle
The last thing you want is for your children to get uprooted and moved across the country every few months because their Aunt Jane travels for work. When choosing a guardian, consider the stability of that person. Does her or his job require frequent overnights away from home? Does the person tend to jump from job to job, place to place? Finding someone with a stable profession is important.
2. Social maturity
Aunt Jane is fun and always loves to talk about her evenings out and wild vacations. Does this make her the best choice to nurture your children? If you can, think of someone who is more settled down, or at least socially mature. A partying or carefree lifestyle is not conducive to raising children.
3. Emotional connection
Your children may have a difficult time after your death, and choosing a guardian with an emotional connection may help them get through hard times. Your college roommate is a great person, but does she know your kids like, say, your brother and sister-in-law? Many people choose family members as guardians because they have a relationship with the children already. Designating someone with a connection may better serve your children.
Choosing a guardian is usually not an easy task, but it is critical. Do some soul searching and a lot of talking to find the person or persons best matched with your children. Remember, you want someone who will care for them as if your kids were theirs. Before making the designation official in your will, make sure you talk to your choice so she or he knows about your wishes.