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A checklist for choosing a guardian

14 Nov 2016

Don’t leave your child’s future to chance

Selecting a guardian for your child can be a difficult decision because no one can really compare to you as a parent.

Consider the following

  • Do you want a guardian who can take on full responsibility for your child’s emotional, social, cultural and spiritual development?
  • If you have more than one child, will they be raised together?
  • Is your intended guardian aware that they will be raising your child until they are at least 18 years of age?
  • If you want your child to be raised by two adults, have you considered co-guardianship?
  • Are your intended guardians at an age where they are physically and emotionally prepared for a lifestyle change, especially if they are retirees?
  • Do you have a child with special needs? Is your intended guardian the most suitable primary caregiver?
  • Where does the intended guardian live? Will your child be required to move into a new home?
  • Do you need to make finances available for the guardian to cover education costs?
  • Does your child have a good relationship with your intended guardian?
  • Are both your child and your guardian aware of your wishes?

Providing documented guidelines for your nominated guardian(s) to follow is a means of having a positive effect on how your children are raised in the event you and/or your partner are no longer around.

Appointing a guardian

You can formally appoint a guardian for your children in your will if they are under 18. It is very important to discuss your intentions, obtain consent and make your expectations clear to the prospective guardian. During this discussion, it’s also a good idea to share the set of guidelines that you have prepared.

Did you know?

The State Trustees Legal Will Kit can help you prepare your own will and allows you to nominate a guardian for children under 18.

If your circumstances are not so straightforward e.g. if you have a blended family or a child with a disability consider meeting with a will writer in person to guide you through the process of appointing a guardian. Call us today on 03 9667 6444 for a confidential, obligation-free discussion.


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