If you have a young child, you might not think you need to choose a guardian for him or her yet. However, this is not something to put off. Accidents and unfortunate events happen all the time. What would happen if you passed away? Who would raise, take care of and nurture your child if such a terrible thing should happen?
It might be tempting to delay this decision due to family politics and potential complications. The benefits far outweigh any temporary discomfort, though. Here are some tips to help you through the process of designating a guardian for your child.
1. Include it in your will
If you want to guarantee a trustworthy person will take care of your child, you should create a will if you have not yet. The guardian portion of your will gives this person you trust the legal authority to look after your child immediately after you die. If you do not specify a guardian in your will, the court may choose a family member or friend. If no one steps up to the occasion, your child may have to go into foster care.
2. Choose a guardian
It might be difficult to imagine someone taking your place, but there are a few things to keep in mind as you make your decision. Think of your closest friends and relatives with whom you have the most in common. Consider parenting styles, location, age and religious beliefs. This person does not have to share every belief with you, but it helps to have someone who understands your values.
3. Communicate your decision
You do not want to surprise your family members or friend. Explain your decision openly and confidently with your loved ones. Reassure those whom you did not choose that you still love them and want them to have a close relationship with your child.
For more on choosing a guardian for your child, read this guide on BabyCenter.com, a parenting advice website.