How should I choose a guardian?

Sometimes it is obvious whom you would choose to raise your child if you were not there.  Sometimes it’s not. Are there people who might expect to be a guardian but you may think someone else should be first in line?

Below are a few things to think about when choosing a guardian for your child.

Some notes on guardianship:

  • You can separate who your child lives with, and who controls finances – you can have a personal guardian and property guardian
  • The guardian can change over time—e.g. it might be your parent while the child is young, and as your child and parents age, you might want to choose someone else

Some questions to consider when trying to make your choice:

  • Do they share your values?
  • Are they responsible? Do they have the time, financial resources, and energy to raise
  • If your child would have to move, would that be an issue?
  • If your child already knows the guardian, what is their relationship like?

No matter who you choose, you may also want to write down instructions: what would you want to tell the guardian about how you want your child to be raised?  You can write down hopes, dreams, expectations, and values that you want to communicate to your child.



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