While it may be unpleasant to think about, there could come a day when you and your spouse are no longer available to care for your minor children. In this case the Illinois courts would step in to make the decision, which could have potentially heart-breaking results. Fortunately, you can use estate planning tools to select a guardian for your minor children and Forbes offers the following tips to help you make the best choice.
Make a List of Potential Choices
While family members may seem like the obvious choice, you're not limited to just family when selecting a guardian. What's more important is that the person can meet certain requirements, such as whether he or she is emotionally stable. You'll also want to consider finances; caring for a child is expensive and a person in dire financial straits may not be the best choice despite their other qualities. Also consider how this person's family is currently structured, whether they're capable of providing a happy life for your child, and where they live.
Go Over Important Parenting Values
All parents are different, so values that are important to you may not be to other parents. Accordingly, you should be honest about the values you want instilled in your kids and make them a part of the selection process. If you're religious, you may want to choose a person of the same religion. If you really care about your child's education, it would make sense to choose a person who values academic pursuits and is willing to provide support in that area.
Be Sure to Include It in Your Will
Once your decision is made be sure to include it within you will. Even if you make an arrangement the person or people you wish to care for your child this decision will not be legally binding until it's put in in writing. You may also need to update the document in the even feelings change, whether it's your or the selected guardian who experiences a change of heart.