How do I choose a guardian for my child in my estate plan?
One of the most difficult tasks in this whole estate planning business is choosing a guardian. The guardian is the person who has legal authority over the child. This is especially difficult when the child has disabilities because of the sheer amount of responsibility the guardian will assume. One thing you should consider in selecting a guardian is this: who has a vested interest in the well-being of your child? Generally, this is why most people choose a close family member. Kids who have disabilities are some of the most vulnerable human beings on this earth, and if possible, the person who should serve as a guardian is someone who is linked to the child for life. It should be someone who (ideally) lives close by and is willing and able to live with the child.
Involve the future potential guardian in your child’s care now, if possible. You don’t want the first time that your selected guardian steps in and handles complex medical care to be in the middle of an emergency. I want that person to be confident and for the care aspect to be second nature, if at all possible. This is also a great way to find out if the person you’ve selected is really up for this or if they need to bow out gracefully and let someone else serve.
To learn more about other estate planning considerations, check out this article.