Legal Blog

The Weekly Scenario: Qualities to Look for in A Guardian


Question: What qualities should I look for when choosing a guardian for my minor children?

Answer: When you are nominating the guardian for minor children, the objective is to provide each child as little disruption to his or her life as possible. To accomplish that, you should choose an individual who will raise your children the same way you would raise them if you were still living. The guardian should have similar philosophies to yours about raising children, education, discipline, and religious matters.

If you chose a married couple, you will need to determine whether to name just one individual or if you are naming the couple, you should consider what will happen if the guardians you appoint get divorced after your children have moved in with them.

You might also want to consider the economic wherewithal of the guardian so that you don’t saddle them with the responsibility that will overwhelm them financially. If you have more than one child and want to keep the children together, you will have to name a guardian that is willing and able to take all of them.

Comment: You should certainly check with the potential guardian ahead of time to be sure they are willing and then perhaps name back up guardians in case circumstances change and the person who agreed in advance is unable to take their children at the actual time of your death.


As always, if you have any questions or would like to learn more, please contact Steve Shane at or 301.575.0313.


Steve Shane Casual | 301.575.0313

Steve Shane provides strategic counseling to clients in need of estate administration, charitable giving and business continuity planning while minimizing estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer tax exposure. He offers legal guidance to clients on asset protection and the proper disposition of assets in accordance with the client’s objectives, while employing tax planning techniques such as the use of irrevocable trusts, life insurance planning, lifetime gifts and charitable trust. He is also experienced with drafting documents for business planning, the incorporation and application for exemption for Private Foundations and the administration of decedents’ estates.





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