I am in the process of finalizing my will; how do I choose a guardian?

One of the main reasons that young families choose to prepare a will is their desire for choosing a guardian for their minor child.  The difficult decision is often who to appoint as the guardian.

Questions that should be considered in determining who you child’s guardian will be include the following:

  • Where does the guardian live? Is the location suitable for your child? Will it require your child to relocate?
  • How are the guardian’s finances?
  • Does the guardian have any children of his or her own?
  • Would you rather have family or friends raise your child?
  • Does your guardian have religious beliefs?
  • Who does your child feel comfortable with?
  • Would the guardian have the time and energy to dedicate to your child?
  • If the guardian is in a relationship, do you want to appoint both spouses or one? If they separate, who would you want your child to ultimately live with?

The foregoing list is not exhaustive; each family’s circumstances will require a unique analysis. Further, it is important to not only appoint a primary guardian in your will, but it is also important to appoint an alternate guardian in the event that the primary guardian is unwilling or unable to act.

Once you have decided who to appoint, it is very important to discuss the decision with the intended guardian prior to finalizing your will.  You should make sure that they understand what the role of guardian encompasses, including the fact that if you have young children, this could be a long-term responsibility.  Once you have discussed the role with your guardian, give your guardian the opportunity to consider the decision before providing a response.  It is crucial that they appreciate the responsibility as it is not unusual for an appointed guardian to decline to act when it becomes necessary.

If you have questions regarding the foregoing, please feel free to contact Sitka Law Group for a free consultation.  We are located on Shelbourne Street near the borders of Saanich, Oak Bay and Victoria.