While no parents want to consider their children growing up without them, they still have to plan if something happens. Including your young children into your estate plan makes a difference between your children having stability if something happens and being in the hands of the court system.
The New York Times suggests prioritizing guardianship within your will.
Who should you choose?
Your choice should be someone you trust. Many people choose family members or close friends to be the guardian. When thinking about your choice, consider location, religion and values. Does the person have the same values you do? You want to choose someone who will raise your children concerning your wishes. Likewise, your choice should always be someone you ask first. Never appoint a guardian without permission.
You also need to consider whether you feel like the person has the emotional and financial stability to care for a child. Even if a person agrees, it does not mean he or she should be a parent yet.
Can you change the guardian?
There are many reasons why someone may choose a different guardian after appointing one in the will. You do not owe the court any explanation for changing your mind. Likewise, you do not owe the former guardian an explanation. While you should inform the former guardians, you do not have to. After all, you do not want the prior choice to fight the new option if something happens to you.
You should always revisit your will every few years. When it comes to guardianship, review your choice whenever your family goes through a transitional period.