Drafting a will involves considering our own mortality. Asking yourself what would happen if you passed away. It may be unsettling to think about what you leave behind – especially if you have children.
It’s best to make sure children are properly looked after in the event you and your spouse pass away before they become legal adults. You can do this by naming a guardian in your will to look after them.
Below are some tips obtained from national insurer Sun Life Financial about who you may consider as the guardian of your children. The wording of testamentary documents, especially regarding guardians and trustees, is very important. Consult an estate lawyer to make sure your will provisions are clear, direct and valid.
Ask Your Chosen Person First
Before you name a guardian in your will, have a conversation with him or her first. Make sure the person you ask understands the role, agrees to the role, and is comfortable with the responsibility.
The person who you name as guardian has the right to say no after the will is administered, so you want to make sure the person you choose will honour your wishes.
Consider Who Would Make The Best Guardian
Generally, parents strive to make sure the person they choose will raise the children they way they would have liked to – morally and spiritually. Choosing a friend or family member who may have different opinions than you may not be the best choice for your situation.
Another common choice that parents make, are their own parents. Remember, as you age, so do you parents. They may not be able to handle the pressures involved with raising children as they grow older.
Many people tend to submit a sibling and his or her spouse as guardians. However, problems may arise in the future that could put your children at risk. In the event a sibling divorces, you may wish to stipulate that only your sibling is the guardian, not the sibling’s spouse.