Choosing a legal guardian who can raise your kids if you are unexpectedly incapacitated or pass away can be a daunting and difficult challenge. This process becomes exponentially harder when your child has disabilities. There are many things to take into account such as parenting styles and the potential guardian’s ability to love and take care of your child if you can’t be there to raise him or her. When choosing a legal guardian for your child, you should also consider the following:
- Where will your child(ren) live? Many parents desire to keep their children in a familiar environment if something unfortunate happens. It’s not unusual for parents to put instructions in their estate plans regarding the cities or states they want their kids to be raised in if mom or dad passes away. If the geographical location of where your child will be placed is important to you, maybe because your school district offers special educational programs or your county has special disability services, be sure to make this known to your attorney when creating your plan.
- Is your child familiar with the potential guardian? It is important that your child with special needs is comfortable with the guardian you are about to choose for them. If you are selecting a guardian that lives far away, you may want to consider ways to begin cultivating a relationship between your child and the potential guardian before it’s needed.
- Is your potential guardian prepared to care for your child? There are many factors that could fall under this category but it is important to make sure that your guardian is emotionally, physically and financially prepared to care for your child. For example, you may want a grandparent to become guardian, but it’s possible that their age and their own financial and/or medical needs may make serving in this role difficult for them. Don’t forget to take their point of view into account when making your selection.
- Have you discussed this choice with your potential guardian? It is very important that you ask your potential guardian if this is a responsibility that they can take on. You will also want to talk about your desired path for raising your child/ren to make sure that you are in agreement and that your wishes will be followed.
As parents, we spend a lot of time planning the best future for our children. Make sure that your planning includes naming a legal guardian should you become unexpectedly incapacitated or pass away. You should be the one making that decision – not the courts. Call our Brandon special needs attorneys today and schedule a consultation so you can have the peace of mind knowing your children will be cared for by the person you want, in the way you want if anything happens to you.