CHILD magazine how to choose a guardian copy’s

Safeguarding the Future – How to Choose a Guardian for Your Children

It’s a hard one to think about – but have you considered who would be the best person to look after your children in case the worst happened? Here are five things to consider when making that difficult yet important decision.

It’s obviously impossible to predict your family’s future, but what you can control is the creation of a contingency plan in the event something happens to you and your partner. We know it’s hard, but choosing a Guardian to look after your children (if they’re under 18) needs to be part of that plan. It’s definitely a personal decision, and a difficult task because no one can really compare to you as a parent.

According to State Trustees, there are five things you should consider when choosing the next best person to care for your child:

  • Similarities Between Your Lifestyle, Values and Religious Beliefs.
    Do these important factors align with yours? These are the things that make up parenting styles and philosophies. We suggest sitting down with your partner, pouring yourselves a glass of wine and making a list of your own parenting styles and values.
  • Who Your Child Already Has a Bond With.
    Obviously your child is going to be more comfortable with someone they have a pre-existing relationship with. The trust is there, the bond is there and in such a sensitive and vulnerable time, this will really up the comfort levels.
  • Whether the Potential Guardian Already Has, or Is Planning to Have Children.
    This one works two ways: someone who is already a parent will know what to expect, knows their ways around the parenting ropes and siblings are awesome companions. However, you should also consider whether the parent or soon to be parent would be willing to add to their existing pressures of parenthood. This is a personal topic and calls for a good chat with the potential Guardian about what their current parenting situation is.
  • The Transition, in Terms of Location and Lifestyle.
    Is your child good with change? It’s difficult for most kids to be uprooted and have their routines shaken. Think about the transition: how far into their schooling are they? Are they enrolled in any extra-curricular activities? Would the potential Guardian be willing to move?
  • Who Can Take on the Role Financially.
    You need to be sure that your child is taken care of financially, and that their inherited assets are protected and well managed. This can be done by setting up a trust fund for your child, where the nominated trustee will interact with your child’s Guardian and ensure that their education, amongst other things, is provided for financially. Another thing to consider is choosing a guardian who won’t suffer any financial burden or loss whilst acting in the role and preferably possesses a reasonable financial acumen.

    State Trustees can help you plan ahead today to safeguard the future wellbeing of your child their Trustee and Will-writing services. If you live in Victoria and need further assistance, you can contact State Trustees on (03) 9667 6444, or 1300 138 672 from outside Melbourne, or you can register for face-to-face appointment by using the online booking form here.

This post was brought to you by State Trustees.

Lana Al Habl
Lana Al Habl
lana.alhabl@sydneyschild.com.au