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Principled Advocacy For Families And Individuals With Disabilities And The Professionals Who Serve Them

Do grandparents make good guardians? 

On Behalf of | Oct 31, 2022 | Guardianship

One of the reasons that parents tend to make estate plans is because they want to pick a guardian for their child. For instance, maybe you have a child with special needs and you know that they’re going to need care for the rest of their life. Or perhaps your children are simply minors and you want to be sure that they have a guardian for the next 18 years.

Often, these parents are tempted to pick their own parents as their child’s potential guardians. These grandparents are probably very involved with the young children and they clearly love them and would be a good support system. It seems like a natural fit. Grandparents also often have the financial means to take care of these children, along with the physical space. But is this actually a good idea?

It may not be an ideal fit

Unfortunately, choosing grandparents may not be ideal for numerous reasons. For example, if you do have an heir with special needs, they may need care long after you pass away. Odds are that your own parents would’ve passed away before this, so you need a guardian who is younger and can provide that care for as long as needed.

But even when you’re just choosing a guardian because your children are young, you have to think about how long that role will continue. For instance, if your child is one and their grandparent is 63, that grandparent may have no trouble caring for the infant. But 17 years from now, when that child graduates from high school and becomes a legal adult, the grandparent would be 80 years old. They may not be able to provide proper care and could have their own health concerns.

Choosing the right guardian is important, and you also need to know what legal steps to take as you do so.