When choosing your guardian and conservator, it may be that the roles are not suited to only one person in your “village.” That is NOT unusual and should not concern you. You can name two people — for example: someone who will care for your children and someone responsible for your children’s assets.
Put another way, there may be a great candidate for guardianship, but they are horrible with money management, and you might have an outstanding financial manager that is not someone you would choose to raise your children for various reasons.
Here are some things to consider when selecting your guardians and conservators for your children.
For a guardian, you should generally look for someone who shares your values, goals, and parenting style; someone with good character; someone who is financially stable; and someone with relatively good health and a life expectancy that is longer than the time it will take your children to become adults. For your appointed conservator you would similar traits except they need to be responsible for managing money, choosing or working with existing advisors, and understand your desires as to discretionary matters.
Discuss with your intended nominees.
In all cases, be sure to discuss with your intended nominees before naming them. NO SURPRISE GUARDIANSHIPS EVER. This will give you a chance to address any concerns or apprehensions that your chosen persons may have. It will also provide you with peace of mind in knowing that there will not be any surprises later.
Share your list of who not to use.
While parents may disagree on who to choose as a guardian or conservator for their children, they often are in complete agreement on who NOT to use. Be sure to let your attorney know if there is any such person. Your attorney can help to ensure your wishes are honored in a way that does not offend someone who may never have known your feelings otherwise.
Heidi S. Webb, Attorney at Law, serves clients in Daytona Beach, Ormond Beach, Port Orange, Melbourne, and beyond with matters of Elder Law, Estate Planning, and Probate Law.