Sunday, January 13, 2008

How to Decide Who Cares for Children After Death


As soon as you have children, you and your spouse should decide upon legal guardians for your kids. These are the people who care for your children should you die or be unable to care for them. It is a difficult issue to think about, but once you decide and include legal guardians in your will, you at least have some comfort filling in the "what if." Read on to learn how to decide who care for children after death.


Difficulty: Challenging



Step One

Choose your spouse, unless divorce or abandonment is an issue. But you must decide on another guardian in case both you and your spouse die or become unable to take care of your children.

Step Two

Determine the age and physical abilities of your choice. A legal guardian of a minor must be at least 18-years-old, but you must also consider the limitations of choosing elderly parents or grandparents, who may not be able to care for your children up to adulthood.

Step Three

Consider who loves your children and who your children love. Consider whether your choice has your children's best interests at heart and whether you can trust them.

Step Four

Take into account the financial ability of your choice to raise your children, particularly if you can't provide enough support through your will and assets that remain after your death.

Step Five

Think about the time it takes to raise children. Factors to consider include heavy job schedules and children of their own.

Step Six

Give thought to the moral beliefs of your chosen guardians, whether you believe your children would be raised with similar values as you would raise them.

Step Seven

Discuss with the people you have chosen your wishes to name them as legal guardians. They need time to decide if they can take on this responsibility.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you don't name a legal personal guardian for your kids in your will, anyone can request guardianship in the event of your death. Then the court must decide who cares for your children, without any input from you.
  • Give yourself time to analyze and carefully think over your choices, rather than jumping to an immediately obvious choice.

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