5 Considerations When Naming Your Child’s Legal Guardian in Your Will

  • Estate Planning
5 considerations when naming your child's legal guardian in your will | estate and probate legal group

Not many people want to think about their death, especially parents of young children. But having arrangements in place helps people feel more comfortable and at ease talking about their passing. If you pass away and haven’t named your child’s legal guardian, a judge will do so for you. It’s best for you to decide for yourself who will raise your minor children when you are no longer here and name your child’s legal guardian in your will.

So, what does it mean to have guardianship? Guardianship is the legal arrangement where a non-parent takes custody of your children and raises them for you.

How to Best Choose Your Children’s Legal Guardian

No one can raise your children as well as you can. But if something happens to you, who do you want to take care of your children? There is a lot to think about, but here are 5 considerations when naming your child’s legal guardian:

  1. Choose someone with the same values. Decide what is important to you (religion, education, work ethic) and determine who has those same priorities.
  2. Name the guardian based on the person(s) who has a genuine interest in the well-being of your children.
  3. Find someone with the experience, patience, and maturity. Your children will go through many stages in life, and they need someone who will love them through it all.
  4. If you have more than 1 child, determine who can take all of your children so they are not separated and raised in different homes.
  5. Pick who is best for the next 2-3 years. You may worry that your parents will be too old to handle the kids in 10 years. But don’t plan that far out— plan for the next several years only.

You also want to make sure to name an alternate guardian. You’ll need to have someone lined up if your first choice becomes unable to raise your kids. It’s best if you have several options for guardianship.

Why You Need an Estate Planning Attorney

Deciding on the guardianship of your children is an important and loving decision. It needs to be done right for the judge to accept and follow your wishes. An experienced estate planning lawyer will help you draft this legally binding agreement.

But don’t worry; you can always change your mind. You should update your will every 3 years, and that is an excellent time to review your guardianship decision and change your will if needed.

DuPage County Estate Planning Attorney

An Illinois estate planning lawyer can help you create a will and name guardianship over your children. Consulting with us can give you peace of mind for your child’s future. Contact the Estate & Probate Legal Group at 630-864-5835. 

We serve Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake and Will counties.