Readers of this blog know that we discuss guardianships regularly. And, we recently discussed child guardianships and when you should add them to your estate plan. In this post, we will focus on how to pick a Mooresville, Indiana, guardian.
For context, a guardian is someone who is appointed to care for your child. They, essentially, step into your shoes as the parent and care for all of their needs.
Guardianship vs. child custody
Often, the terms, “guardianship” and “child custody” are used interchangeably when referring to legal custody of a child after parental death. However, child custody could refer to the percentage of care when a guardian is appointed when a Mooresville, Indiana, parent is still alive, but deemed unfit (either temporarily or permanently).
It is important to understand that guardianships can be full, limited and joint. A full guardian means that they step into the shoes as the parent. They have all the same responsibilities as the parent, including financial, personal and legal responsibilities. Limited guardians are limited to specific responsibilities, like only responsible for the child’s personal, financial, or legal decisions. Finally, a joint guardian shares some responsibility with another guardian.
Choosing a guardian
Choosing a Mooresville, Indiana, guardian can be one of the most important decisions you ever make, should one be needed. But, it is a daunting decision. A parent cannot be replaced, but you should try to pick someone who reflects your values and who is stable, loves your child and has a genuine connection. This could mean a family member, but not necessarily.
Think about who is financially stable, capable and willing. Who is detail-oriented, healthy and responsible? Do not underestimate their geographic location as well because when you pass, if they have to move across the country, they will lose their social networks and schools too.
Really think about what your child’s life will look like with your potential guardian. What will the household structure look like? And, of course, once you make your decision, discuss it with your chosen guardian and your backup Mooresville, Indiana, guardian(s).