How do you know what traits to look for when choosing a guardian for your minor child if something should happen to you? No one will be able to step into your shoes and parent your child as well as you would and many parents would rather not think about what would happen if they were gone. However, preparing a plan and choosing a guardian is essential if you have minor children. To help you start thinking about who might fill this role if you are gone, we will discuss the top five traits to consider in choosing a guardian.
1. Financial stability. You want to make sure that your guardian is financially stable and won't suffer an economic burden by becoming your child's guardian. While you may have money that your child will inherit and can be used to support them, you don't want to add any additional financial strain to your proposed guardian.
2. Values and religious beliefs. Your guardian will step into your shoes and raise your child. You want to pick someone who shares similar values and religious beliefs as you that can instill those same values and beliefs in your child.
3. Responsible. You want to make sure that your guardian is responsible. Your child will need a responsible adult caring for them and to provide a stable home environment. You don't want a guardian who is constantly in trouble with the law or unable to hold a job.
4. Similar education philosophy. You want to choose a guardian that has a similar education philosophy as you and that will encourage your child to attain the level of education that maximizes their potential and career aspirations.
5. Longevity. Finally, you want a guardian that have the mental and physical stamina to be guardian for the long haul. You want to pick a guardian that is young enough to be able to be there for your child until they are grown and have the physical ability to raise your child as well. If you pick a guardian who is older, there could be issues later with their own incapacity or disability that could affect your child.
There are many considerations when choosing a guardian but thinking through what traits you want that guardian to have may help you in narrowing down who could fill that role. Every parent should have documents in place that provides who their child will live with and who will step into the role of raising them.