When you are creating your estate plan in Pennsylvania, guardianship of your children is an important thing to consider if they are minors. If anything were to happen to you or your spouse, a guardian would be charged with caring for them and if no one is named, they may be placed with people they do not know rather than family or friends.
FindLaw lists several things to consider when choosing a guardian. You should consider if you are choosing a guardian of the person or a guardian of the estate. The estate guardian will handle any assets or money the child inherits while the former is charged with caring for the child as if they were a substitute parent.
When choosing a guardian for your kids, consider the financial stability of the person or family you are choosing. Do they have the resources to take care of and educate your children? Along with financial stability, make sure you choose someone who is young or healthy enough to care long-term for your kids. They will be raising your kids until they reach adulthood, so an elderly relative may not be your best choice.
You also want to choose someone who has similar values as you do. Consider parenting style and goals when you are selecting both a guardian of the person or one of the estate. Even if the person is only tasked with making financial decisions for your child, you want to know they have similar beliefs.
Parents should also talk to the person they are choosing when it is made legal. The guardian you choose should be aware that they will be raising your children or handling their estate if something happens to you. This allows you to address any possible issues or problems that may arise.
Once you have chosen a guardian, it should be included in writing in your estate plan. An attorney can help you with this process.
This is for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as legal advice.