As a parent, one of the most important estate planning decisions you can make is choosing a guardian for your children in case something happens to you. Who you pick to care for your kids if you are no longer able will impact their lives significantly.
To ensure you make the best choice, here are 3 key things to discuss with your chosen guardian before making it official.
1. Their views on parenting & discipline
Every parent has different views on how to raise kids, so it is important that you and your chosen guardian see eye-to-eye on parenting approaches and discipline styles. Discuss your parenting philosophies and views on discipline to ensure they align. Knowing you share similar values in these areas will give you peace of mind.
2. Their financial situation
Raising kids is expensive, so make sure to discuss finances with your chosen guardian. As of 2022, the average cost of raising a child is $300,000 from birth to age 17. Do they have enough income and savings to cover the costs of additional children? Are they struggling with debt? Understanding their financial position will help you know if they can realistically afford guardianship.
3. Their commitment & expectations
Finally, discuss their level of commitment to guardianship and mutually agree upon expectations. Confirm they are fully on board with taking on this immense responsibility. Set clear expectations around visits, decision-making, finances, your kids’ rules and routines and any special considerations.
Choosing a guardian for your kids is not a decision to take lightly. Having open and honest discussions with your chosen guardian will give you confidence you are making the best choice.