4 Characteristics to Look for in a Guardian

As a parent, you have to make hundreds of decisions regarding your child’s well-being virtually every day. Out of the deep love and care you have for them, you no doubt take time to make the best choice even in seemingly small matters. At times, it may feel overwhelming to make an appropriate choice when it comes to more important, bigger decisions – such as those regarding health choices, diet, or education. 

Out of all the decisions you may make to protect and secure our child’s future well-being, however, choosing a legal guardian in the event of your passing is one of the most important ones – and, at the same time, one of the most stressful. First, thinking about your own or your spouse’s death may be uncomfortable in and of itself. However, the thought that your precious child could be brought up by another person may feel heartbreaking. Still, difficult though this decision may be, failing to choose a guardian will inevitably result in a judge doing so instead of you. Since that is an outcome you no doubt would like to avoid, you will find some practical tips here that will help you choose the best guardian for your precious child. Keep in mind that legally speaking you are nominating a guardian, not choosing. That person will still need to file a Petition for Guardianship with the court and be approved.

1. Values Similar to Yours

Most parents would like their children to hold values at least to some extent similar to those they too profess. If you feel strongly about certain issues and you feel it’s important to have the same ideals in their hearts and minds, you should look for a guardian who shares values that are important to you. In order to ensure that you make the right choice, it may be beneficial to first clearly define your own values, ideals, and opinions when it comes to issues such as religion, morals, and education.

2. Age and Health

Raising a child – especially a young one – may require a lot of energy, stamina, and physical endurance. Therefore, you need to make sure that a potential candidate for the guardian will be able to handle the physical demands of child-rearing. This is especially important if you are considering your parents for your child’s guardian.

3. Financial Stability

While a potential guardian may not necessarily come from an affluent background, his or her financial situation must be stable enough to ensure that your child won’t suffer unnecessary hardship. Still, even someone with a stable job and a sizable income may not make for the best guardian – especially if their profession requires them to travel for extended periods of time or if their spending habits will not help your child to develop financial responsibility.

4. Willingness to Accept the Task

Even if the candidate ticks all the boxes, their willingness and capacity to take on a child will really be the deciding factor on whether they should become your child’s guardian or not. After all, the single thing that you most wish your child will receive from their guardian is warmth, acceptance, and the feeling of truly belonging to a loving family. And these they can only receive from a person who will happily take on the responsibility of raising them in case of your passing.

Legal Advice for Guardianships

Deciding on a guardian may not only be overwhelming emotionally but also complex from a legal perspective. If you would like to obtain more information and professional legal advice related to establishing a guardianship, contact the Carroll Law Office. We are experienced family law attorneys practicing in California. We offer a free initial consultation for all our new clients.