As a parent, you are responsible for most of the details of your child’s life. Some of the decisions that you have to make on behalf of your children will have lasting consequences for your family. Among those important decisions is who to name as guardian if something happens to you and the other parent.

A guardian will help raise your children and served as a surrogate parent when you are unable to provide the support and love that your children need to grow into healthy and happy adults. Selecting the right guardian is of the utmost importance during the estate planning process, even if the chances are very good that their services will never become necessary.

Your children will be exceptionally vulnerable after losing their parents, which means you need to name someone that you trust to be responsible and compassionate. They should be at a fairly stable point in their lives (or, at a minimum, willing to settle down and focus on the children if the worst should happen).

For some people, assuming the responsibilities of parenthood isn’t a choice. It just sort of happens. For those named as a guardian to minor children, however, there is a choice. They do not have to accept that authority when you die. As such, is it of the utmost importance that you pick someone willing to fulfill the duties of a guardian. 

Naming the right guardian means that your children will have the resources and support they need to thrive in a future where you are not a part of their life due to one tragic circumstance or another. Selecting and naming an appropriate guardian can go a long way toward protecting your children in the future and your peace of mind right now.