If you have young children or are considering starting a family, then you need to familiarize yourself with Virginia’s guardianship process. As responsible parents, you must have a plan in place to protect your children’s best interests should you pass away or become incapacitated. If you don’t choose a guardian for your children, the court will make this decision for you. To get started with the guardianship process, please review the information below and contact Reilly Law as soon as possible to discuss your options. We offer our clients a Guardian Instructions Template that they can customize and address the things that are important to them for their childrens’ futures. Some considerations in selecting your guardian(s) is in the following paragraphs.
What to look for in a Guardian
The guardian you choose should be someone who shares your values, goals, and parenting style. In other words, it is important to choose a guardian who you feel will raise your children like your own.
Children need stability, so make sure the guardian you choose is capable of providing your kids with a stable environment. This includes both financial and emotional stability. So this individual must be mature, caring, and capable of taking care of your children’s financial needs.
The person you choose as your children’s guardian must be young enough to care for your children through adulthood. Also, this individual should be in good health. This generally excludes people who are elderly or sickly. By choosing someone who may not be capable of caring for your children until they reach adulthood, you may be setting your children up for future instability. And while physical disabilities don’t necessarily preclude good parenting, it’s imperative to choose an individual who is physically capable of withstanding the rigors of raising children.
Although this may be obvious, you must get approval from an individual before naming him or her as your children’s guardian. You should exclude from consideration anyone unwilling or unable to perform the duties of a guardian.
Refrain from considering individuals with a bad character when choosing a guardian. Even if someone meets all of the above qualifications, it won’t matter if he or she has poor character, as this will ultimately be damaging for your children. Ultimately a judge will decide if the person or persons you have chosen (or the ones seeking guardianship if you have not made any nominations) will be an appropriate guardian using a best interests of the child(ren) standpoint.
Division of Responsibility
You have the option of naming someone as your prospective guardian to be the caretaker of your children and someone else to be in charge of the financial aspects of your childrens’ lives. This may be a good idea if your caregiver choice is just not good with money or you would rather have a system of checks and balances between the caregiver and the financial custodian.
Contact Reilly Law, PLC to get your Peace of Mind Plan in place
At Reilly Law, PLC, we are passionate about ensuring that you are legally prepared for all of life’s unexpected events and challenges. Our primary goal is to utilize the estate planning process to provide you with the peace of mind you deserve. Therefore, for young families, we offer a comprehensive and affordable Young Family Peace of Mind Package. With this package, you can rest assured that your loved ones will be well taken care of should anything ever happen to you. If you’d like to provide your family with the security they deserve and begin the young family planning process, please contact us today.