How to Become Their Legal Guardian: Step One
In my last article, I addressed how important it was that you as aunties make sure your siblings have chosen the right guardians for those precious nieces and nephews. Now I’m about to give you the first step in making that right choice. Remember to encourage your siblings to get this choice down in writing, legally…this is the only way to guarantee your nieces and nephews will never spend one minute in the hands of someone your siblings wouldn’t want!
Step One: Make a List
Have your siblings make the longest list they can stand of everyone they know who might possibly be a good guardian.
When considering whether someone should be on the list, have them ask themselves, “Would they provide a better home for my children than the foster care system?” If the answer is yes, put them down. If the answer is no, note that too, for they may wish to express that under no circumstances should these people be made the guardians of their precious children. Excluding guardians they may not want to raise their children is covered by our Kids Protection Plan too! The list could contain dozens of names but should have at least 3 or 4 people or couples before they call it a day.
Make sure your siblings think beyond their sisters and brothers. Parents have chosen as guardian: cousins, aunts and uncles, grandparents, child care providers, business partners, and friends. Have them consider long-time friends (especially those ABCs - Aunts by Choice) and those they’ve gotten to know at parenting groups. They may share similar philosophies about childrearing.
Do not eliminate people from the list for financial reasons. A well-counseled estate plan
will ensure that there are enough financial resources available to your nieces and nephews' guardians. And, they will have the opportunity to have “trustees” to care for their financial assets through the trust.
This is the end of Step #1. I know this may seem like you are left hanging, but starting here will get your siblings headed in the right direction in protecting their children. Stay tuned for the next step where they will decide what matters most.