Talking to Your Child’s Prospective Guardians

Once you have narrowed down your choices for a prospective guardian to take care of your children if something happened to both parents, it’s important to talk to those people to make sure they want to serve, and understand what it means.

Some of the things you will want to talk about:

  • Whether the prospective guardians want to serve. They may already be named by other friends or relatives and have their plate full. They may also have medical or other issues that make them uncomfortable about serving. Respect their decision if they say “no, thank you.”
  • The financial arrangements you have in place. Assure the guardians that you have made adequate arrangements with your finances so that your children will be provided for without putting a hardship on the guardians.
  • The family members you want your children to stay in touch with. Provide your prospective guardians with a list of family members that you want your children to keep in touch with in the event both parents pass away. If there are family members you have concerns about, let your guardians know about them, too.
  • Your children’s medical and educational information. Keep an updated list of your child’s medical and educational information and let your guardians know where this information is located.
  • Your children’s habits, routines and activities.  This can be a document that you update yearly letting your guardians know about your children’s habits and routines. This can be especially helpful if your guardians do not see your children on a regular basis. It can also be a nice way to record memories of your children for you and them to look back on later.

While your guardians will hopefully never need to serve, be sure to take the time to make things easier for them, and your children, if they ever need to.  Then, call your attorney to put the legal documents in place to make sure your choice of guardian will be honored.

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