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LivingTrustify's Guide to Choosing a Legal Guardian for Your Kids

Stephen Wood, Content Director at LivingTrustify, details 3 easy steps you should take today to plan for your children's wellbeing.
SW
Stephen Wood
When my wife and I did our estate plan, the hardest choice we had to make was who would be the legal guardian for our kids if something happened to us. In this Coda doc, I want to give you some insight and tools to help you with the decision making process. Follow the handy guide along with interactive tables to help you make the important decision of who to name as legal guardian for your kids.

Once you’ve chosen your legal guardian, visit
to complete a personalized nomination of guardian form in minutes and at
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!


Copy this doc
to get started, then follow the steps below.




Step 1: Brainstorm a list of people you trust.

The first thing that you can do is list all the people you can imagine raising your kids. Of course, no one could ever take your place perfectly, but don't let that fact keep you from naming a legal guardian! If you don't name one, it could cause contention among your relatives as they argue over who should be the legal guardian and the courts will have to decide for you.

So go ahead and list as many people or couples that you can. If you can't think of anyone, then try to get your mental juices flowing by listing people that you would NEVER want raising your kids!


Add a potential guardian

People I trust to raise my children
1
Name
Relationship to me
1
Sally Jones
Sibling
2
Barry Knight
Parent
3
Kim Fowler
Friend
There are no rows in this table


Step 2: List some must-have traits of your children's legal guardian.

Now that you have your list of potential legal guardians, list some must haves when it comes to raising your kids. It could be location, age, lifestyle, religion, parenting style, marital status, or an existing positive relationship with your kids. Among the must haves that you listed, choose the top three or four.


Add trait

Must-have traits
0
1
Location
2
Financially savvy
3
Similar lifestyle
There are no rows in this table


Step 3: Match the list of people you trust with your important characteristics, and choose primary and backup guardians.

Next, take your first and second list and start to match the must-have traits you listed with the people. You will probably start to see a natural hierarchy. Keep in mind that you should name at least one legal guardian and a backup guardian.

Choose a guardian
1
Name
Relationship to me
Characteristics
Primary guardian
Backup guardian
1
Sally Jones
Sibling
Financially savvy
2
Barry Knight
Parent
Financially savvy
Location
3
Kim Fowler
Friend
Similar lifestyle
There are no rows in this table


Last – it is a good idea to ask the guardians you chose if they would be willing to serve!

I hope this activity was helpful for you. Be sure to complete a nomination of guardian at no cost with
. While you’re there, you can also set up a complete living trust or will based estate plan in 15 minutes or less.
is a simple and intelligent online tool designed for you to set up a quality living trust or will based estate plan in minutes!

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