Texas law considers anybody under the age of 18 a minor. Minors are basically under the care of their parents who, besides the provision of basic needs, are also responsible for making legal decisions on their behalf. Should the parents pass on, the child becomes a ward of the family court.
To prevent the court from having the ultimate decision regarding the fate of your minor children, it is important that you designate a guardian for them in your estate plan. A guardianship is a legal process of nominating someone else to assume legal custody of your minor children should you be incapacitated or deceased before they turn 18.
Here are two steps that can help you identify the right guardian for your little ones.
Come up with a list of traits that you are looking for in a guardian
The choice of a guardian is one that you cannot afford to take lightly. You are basically nominating someone who will assume full legal responsibilities over your child should something happen. As such, it is important that you choose a guardian who has the same values and beliefs on important things like morals and faith as you do. Here are some of the questions you might want to ask when listing a potential guardian’s traits:
- What values would you want them to instill in your children?
- What kind of role model would they be to your child?
- What are their parenting styles?
- What are their moral and religious beliefs?
If you are working on choosing a guardian with your spouse, you might want to consider creating separate lists before combining them for comparison.
List down potential guardians
With your ideal traits of a potential guardian in hand, chances are you have a handful of people you believe can make great guardians for your children. Well, this is the time to list them down. You don’t have to limit yourself to relatives. Sometimes, a close friend can turn out to be a perfect fit for your child’s guardianship needs.
If you are a parent of minor children, one of the most important decisions you can make is nominating a legal guardian for them while creating your will.