Couples with young children in Florida may not want to think of the worst-case scenario, but it is important they protect the children by naming a guardian in their will. While it is rare, in the event both parents pass away, a guardian will be the one who cares for, and raises, the children.
Forbes discusses that choosing a guardian is an extremely difficult decision for any parent to make, but there are many advantages. By naming someone specific, this avoids conflict among family members over who gets custody. It also avoids court involvement in which a judge would name someone the parents may not be happy with.
When deciding on a guardian, it is a good idea to consider the person’s moral values as well as his or her abilities to support the child in regard to education and/or culture. Other factors to consider include:
- Emotional and financial stability
- Health and age of the guardian
- Current family structure of potential guardian
- Ability to love and care for children
- Location of guardian
According to the South Florida SunSentinel, there are certain mistakes that couples make when writing a guardian into a will. One is naming a couple as opposed to an individual. If the couple splits up or one passes away, this can complicate things. Another mistake is naming only one guardian. There should be multiple alternatives.
It is also a good idea to specifically name anyone who is not a good fit for guardianship. The names can be in a confidential document that the judge would only see if there is a challenge to the originally-named guardian.