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When you bring your newborn home from the hospital, you plan to spend the next 18 years and beyond providing and caring for your child. But if you aren’t around, you want to make sure that the right person can take over parenting duties. If you haven’t done so yet, you may wish to name one or more guardians as part of your estate plan.

You don’t plan on going anywhere. But when the unexpected happens, your child can lose his or her parents. By naming a responsible person to take over, you can ensure that your child’s needs are always met, no matter what. But whom should you choose?

Finding the best candidate

Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, you may want to ask yourself a few questions about each possible guardian. For those under consideration, you may want to know:

  • Are they willing to take over raising my child?
  • Do they live so far away that my child must uproot his or her life?
  • Do they have a home fit for raising children?
  • Do they have kids of their own, or are they qualified to raise children?
  • Are they of an age where they can handle raising a child?

As you ask yourself questions about each candidate, you can narrow down to the people in your life who are fit to parent your child. You can feel confident that the person you name will take over and give your child a loving home.

Communicating your wishes

Once you make your decision, make sure to talk with the person you name as a guardian. You can rule out anyone who doesn’t want to take over the responsibility. You can also make sure each person selected is ready to assume the role if anything does happen to you.

You will be there to protect your children no matter what. But to make sure that an accident doesn’t leave them without a parent, you can name a guardian in your will.