Should I name my life partner guardian of my minor child?

Few questions are more important when creating an estate plan than asking yourself who should raise your young children after you pass. If the child has another parent who is still alive, that parent would automatically become the guardian. However, it is still very important to name a guardian in your will, because you do not know whether the other parent will still be alive or able to take care of a child at the time you pass. With a decision as difficult as this, you may be considering naming the person that you are closest to. Sometimes, that person is your unmarried, long-term committed partner.

10 Questions to Consider Before Appointing a Life Partner Guardian of Your Child

While your life partner may be an excellent choice to raise your child after you pass, the decision should still be considered carefully. Ask yourself the following questions before making a final decision:

  1. What is your child’s relationship with your partner?
  2. Is the child old enough to express an opinion as to who should be the guardian?
  3. Is your partner receiving assets from your estate that would assist with the costs of raising your child?
  4. Will your partner raise your child in a similar manner to how you would?
  5. Does your partner understand the goals and priorities that you have for your child?
  6. Does your partner have other children of their own, making it more difficult to give your child the time and attention that they need?
  7. Is your partner responsible?
  8. Where does your partner live? Would the child be raised in their current home or town?
  9. Would your child have to change schools if your partner were to raise him or her?
  10. Is your partner young enough and healthy enough to be a long-term guardian for your child?

If you decide to name your partner as guardian, it is important to have this conversation with him or her before you pass. You will want to make sure that any questions or issues are addressed now, while they are still able to be resolved.

We are happy to assist you with this and any other questions that arise as you create your estate plan. We encourage you to view our client testimonials page today to learn more about how we have helped many other families create their ideal estate plans.

James F. Roberts
Founder and owner of the Law Office of James F. Roberts and Associates, a premiere estate planning law firm