Who will care for my child if I die? It's one of the toughest decisions a parent ever has to make and one of the most important. It can be hard to decide — between your siblings, your parents, and your friends — who would be best suited to raise your child. No one is a going to be a miracle replacement for you in your child's life, but luckily, there are considerations to take that will make the task a bit easier.
Our values are the basis for who we are as individuals. Everything we do in life from our career to family time to money is centered around our value system. It is important to the wellbeing of your child, as well as your own long-term goals for your child, to ensure his guardian's values are in line with your own.
There are people in our lives who are so much like us that we may even joke that we share a brain. We have the same sense of humor, the same love for certain activities, and even a similar temperament and basic spirit about life. Having someone in his life who is similar to his parents can be a stabling factor for your child if something happens to you.
If religion is a large part of your life and your child's life, it is important to consider this when deciding on a guardian. If you visit church every Sunday and participate in church youth groups and other church activities, you may want to seriously considering ensuring that your child's guardian will continue taking your child to church regularly and raise him with the beliefs you intended to pass on to him.
4. Parenting Style
When it comes to choosing a guardian take a look at your top contenders and how their parenting style compares with your own. If you are more aligned with authoritative parenting, you probably don't want to choose someone who is more permissive. You are raising your child in a certain manner because you believe that is the best way to help your child become a successful adult. Find someone who agrees with your methods.
5. Their Current Situation
You may have the perfect person or couple in mind, but they may not be able to care for your child at this time due to finances, emotional turmoil, physical ailments, their own children, or a lack of time. These are definitely factors to consider. But remember that even if the guardians you want to choose are unable to care for your child at this time, you can always revisit your will in the upcoming years if their situation changes.
6. Location, Location, Location
It is also important to consider where someone lives when deciding if she should your child's guardian. Your child will be feeling lost without you. He will be changing houses and trying to understand all of the events that have taken place. Having to change schools will be another challenge he must now overcome as he would be losing the familiarity and comfort of his friends and teachers.
7. Relationship with Your Child
A key factor in deciding who will be guardian of your child is what that person's relationship with your child is like. Does your child like this person? Does this person interact well with your child? Do they play? Do they respect your child? Placing your child under the care of someone with whom he is comfortable will make the heartbreaking situation a little bit easier on him.
Once you have taken these considerations and narrowed down your list of potential guardians, it is important to remember to also follow your gut. Don't choose based on guilt, or whether or not a person fits into each of your criteria. And don't be afraid to hurt feelings (you're dead anyway, right?). If the best family match for your child would mean he must move across the country, than that may be the best solution for you. What matters most is that your child is loved and cared for in the same way that you would have.