How to Choose a Guardian for Yourself
When deciding who to appoint as your legal guardian, it’s important to remember that their role isn’t going to be small, simple, or short-lived. Whoever you choose should be someone you trust and believe others will listen to in the event they need to step in and be your advocate. Therefore, choosing the right guardian means looking beyond today’s concerns and asking yourself some hard questions:
- Does this person share (or at least respect) my beliefs and values?
- Does this person have what it takes to make tough decisions?
- Will this person command the authority needed to carry out my wishes?
- Will this person be proactive in their duty to handle my care?
- Do I trust this person to make responsible financial decisions on my behalf?
- Overall, am I confident this person will be a strong advocate for me when I can’t advocate for myself?
Answering these questions may not be a walk in the park, but keep in mind, if you don’t pre-select your legal guardian while in a healthy mental state, they will be chosen for you by an Ohio probate court.
How to Choose a Guardian for Your Kids
If you're a parent to minor children, setting up your estate plan correctly is essential. As with adult guardianship, your children’s guardian will be court-appointed if you don’t take the steps to legally declare one before he or she is needed.
In many ways, choosing a guardian for your kids is like choosing a guardian for yourself. Without question, you want someone responsible, invested, and able to make tough decisions. Ideally, you also want that person to share your core values and beliefs. To that end, make sure you’re asking yourself these questions in addition to those listed above:
- Will this person instill the right values upon my kids?
- Does this person have what it takes to be both an advocate and a disciplinarian?
- Will my children respect and respond to this person?
- Is this person emotionally and financially stable?
- Overall, do I truly believe this is the best person to take over the parenting of my children?
Selecting the right guardian(s) for your estate plan is an important decision, fortunately, you don’t have to figure out the entire process on your own. If you haven’t set up your estate plan yet, or simply have more questions about guardianship laws in the Columbus, Ohio area, I invite you to reach out and schedule a one-on-one consultation.