Selection of Guardians for Your Children


If you have minor children, then probably you wonder who should take care of your children if you die while they're still minors. This is what is known as selection or appointment of a guardian or conservator of the person. Here are some things to consider:

#1 - Where does the guardian live?

If it is important to you that your children remain in the same State or County, then you probably should choose someone who either resides where you do already or would be willing to move.  Alternatively, if you do not mind the children being moved away, then consider whether they would feel comfortable in the state or county to where they would be moving.  Going from sunny California to cold and rainy New York may be a factor.

#2 - What are the guardian's religious, political and moral beliefs?

You probably want someone who will bring up your kids with the same moral, religous and social values that you have your self.  So, if you are a regular at church will your proposed guardian be such as well with your kids or vice-versa for that matter.

#3 - What do you know about the guardian's parenting skills?

This is pretty basic, but a sister or brother who adores your kids but is otherwise childless, he/she may not be well equipped to be thrust into parenthood.

#4 - How old is the guardian?

Some people want to select the child's grandparents.  While they might be fit and proper in the sense of having your kids best interests at heart, the likelihood that they will be around long enough to see that your kids are fully grown may not be realistic sometimes.

#5 - What is the guardian's family situation?

If your proposed guardian already has 3 children and you have 3 of your own that means they will be responsible for raising 6 children.  Can they handle that financially and emotionally?

#6 - What is the guardian's financial situation?

Will the proposed guardian have to give up a job that requires traveling to take on the responsibility?  If so, how wil that impact their ability to do so?                     

#7 - Have you asked the guardian if they're willing to serve?


The last thing to consider is whether your proposed guardian feels comfortable with the responsibility of taking on your kids.  You really should ask how they feel about it before naming them as guardians.

What's the bottom line?

The bottom line is that making an old fashioned "pros and cons" list will help in deciding the right person to act as your children's guardian.

Remember, if you do nothing it will be left up to a judge to decide who will be your children's guardian


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Joseph Adelizzi

Admitted USTax Court, 1987

Cal. Ins. Lic. 0768932

IRS CAF No.: 036-45708R



Information Not Legal Advice. This article has been prepared for general information purposes only. The information in this article is not legal advice. Legal advice is dependent upon the specific circumstances of each situation. Also, the law may vary from state to state, so that some information in this article may not be correct for your jurisdiction. Finally, the information contained in this article is not guaranteed to be up to date. Therefore, the information contained in this article cannot replace the advice of competent legal counsel licensed in your state.

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Joe Adelizzi