A lot of families put off drafting wills because they can’t decide who they want to be the guardian of their child. They know they need to be prepared, but they get hung up on this very important life decision. I have a few basic rules that I share with my clients, which help them get over the hurdle:
I suggest you take these rules, and then apply the decision making process that works best for you. Some couples make lists and then sit down and hash out the pros and cons of each person on the list. Others might prefer to relax one evening after the kid goes to bed, open a bottle of wine, and just have a conversation.
Not everyone can make the decision on their own. If you’re reaching an impasse with your spouse or partner, rather than make this a source of conflict, enlist the help of a counselor, family mediator, or some other trusted advisor to help you through the process. You both want what’s best for your children – you just need some help to get there.
The last step is to talk to your potential guardian about whether they are up for the job, and how you want your child to be raised if the guardian has to assume care for him or her. Some people draft detailed letters that they keep with their wills that provide these instructions.
These aren’t fun conversations to have, but you need to do it – and you will sleep better at night knowing that it’s all in place.
Want to read more? Parents magazine recently did a great article on picking a guardian.