What to consider when choosing a child’s guardian

Wisconsin law allows you to select a guardian for your minor children as part of your will. Doing so may eliminate the need for a judge to select a guardian on your behalf after you pass. There are multiple questions that you should ask yourself prior to choosing the person who will care for your son or daughter upon your death.

Is this person capable of caring for children?

It’s typically not in your best interest to pick a guardian simply because that person is your best friend or a trusted colleague. Instead, you should ensure that whoever is named as your son or daughter’s guardian is physically, emotionally and financially able to meet that child’s needs. While this may seem obvious, be sure to ask your chosen guardian if he or she is actually willing to serve in this role.

Is there anything objectionable in that person’s background?

An individual who has a history of substance abuse may not be allowed to serve as your child’s primary caregiver. The same may be true of someone who has been convicted of a serious crime such as domestic violence. An estate law attorney may provide more insight into how a person’s history might disqualify that individual from raising your children.

An attorney may assist in the process of choosing the adult who will care for your children if you die before they reach the age of majority. Furthermore, your attorney may review your will in its entirety to ensure that it is structured in accordance with state law. If it is not, your legal adviser may recommend changes that will help it stand up to a challenge during probate.