According to the United States Department of Health & Human Services Children’s Bureau, addressing guardianship for your child is challenging. After all, it is one of life’s least pleasant topics. However, it is essential to point out that it is doubtful your child will be left with neither parent in their life. Nevertheless, the idea is to plan for every eventuality, and the peace of mind that your efforts afford you can be invaluable. Suppose you are gearing up to ask someone to be the guardian of your child. In that case, there are some critical steps to take and some critical points to consider, and the experienced estate planning attorneys at Ibekwe Law, PLLC (512-505-2753)–proudly serving both Texas and Arkansas –are on your side and here to offer their professional guidance.
Making the Choice
Choosing the person or couple you would like to become your child’s guardian if the need should ever arise is one of the most profound decisions you will ever make. For you, there may only be one option –an obvious choice –and if this is the case, you should count yourself lucky. However, many people have to do a bit more soul-searching, and coming to a consensus with your child’s other parent may make the decision much more difficult. Ultimately, you are looking for someone who checks all the following boxes:
- Someone who will nurture, love, and accept your child the way you do;
- Someone who has the maturity and stability to be there for your child through thick and thin;
- Someone who shares your values and who is invested in raising your child according to your wishes;
- Someone whose home environment is safe and enriching and would ultimately benefit your child;
- Someone who makes healthy life choices that will prove beneficial to your child.
It may be an overwhelming challenge, but when you land on the right person or couple, you should come away with an overall sense that you have made the right choice. If you are not quite there, trust that you will know when you arrive at the right candidate. Now, it is time to ask someone to be the guardian of your child.
This Is Big
If you are preparing to ask someone to be your child’s guardian, it is essential to remember that this is an important and monumental decision. There are important reasons you feel all these feelings, but getting things in perspective can help.
Bestow an Honor
While becoming a guardian is a lot of work and one of life’s most serious responsibilities, there is so much more to it than that. When you ask someone to be the guardian of your child, you bestow the person (or couple) with an immense honor –and there is no sincere form of flattery. When you ask the question, keep this in mind and let your candidate know exactly how heartfelt your decision is. Consider the following:
- If you pop the guardianship question over a dinner out–or another relaxing break–it helps to ensure that you both have the space you need to address the matter seriously.
- Let the person know that you are asking this somber question in response to your estate planning goals –and not because the need is imminent. Make it clear that it is improbable this guardianship will ever be instigated. You are not trying to alarm anyone.
- If the person you ask is overwhelmed, do not take it as a bad sign. As mentioned, this is big, and the fact that your candidate recognizes the enormity of the matter is a good thing.
- If the person you ask ultimately declines, which is unlikely –you have done the soul-searching, after all –do not be discouraged. It is simply time to get back to the drawing board.
The candidate you have chosen may need time to process this immense responsibility, and that is a perfectly natural response. You want a guardian for your child who takes the matter seriously and taking time to reflect on it only shows how well you have chosen.
Becoming a child’s guardian is an immense financial responsibility. You will want to address this aspect of the arrangement when you ask someone to be your child’s guardian. Your skilled financial planning attorney can help you present the necessary financials to your child’s potential guardian in a way that makes sense to them, and that helps bolster everyone’s peace of mind.
Update Your Will
You have addressed the matter of your child’s guardian in the present, and while it is unlikely that your decision will change, life has a way of throwing us curve balls. Consider the following:
- As your child grows up and their needs evolve, it may affect your choice.
- The person you have chosen may experience health concerns (or anything else) that make becoming your child’s guardian problematic.
- If your candidate has moved to a different part of the country, it may interfere with your child’s ability to retain close relationships with members of their extended family and may color your decision.
- If you and the person you have chosen have grown apart, it may be time to reconsider.
Keeping your will updated is critical, and this includes regularly addressing the matter of your child’s guardianship.
An Experienced Estate Planning Attorney Can Help You Ask Someone to Be the Guardian of Your Child
Your child is your world, and thinking of unexpectedly leaving them without a parent is not an easy matter to address. Doing so, however, can provide you with the ease of spirit that comes from facing your parental responsibilities head-on. The compassionate estate planning attorneys at Ibekwe Law, PLLC–proudly serving both Texas and Arkansas –recognize the gravity of the task before you are well prepared and well-positioned to help. When you ask someone to be the guardian of your child, it in no way increases the chances that the need for a guardian will come to pass, but it can provide you with the serenity you seek. To learn more, please do not hesitate to contact or call us at 512-505-2753 today.