Choose, or someone else will


We tend to go through cycles with our friends as we enter certain age ranges. Last year, I attended six weddings; this year, 11 of my friends (including two of those brides) will welcome new babies into their families.

With the recent birth of one friend’s son, I got to thinking about guardians. In Ontario, if you die while your children are under the age of 18, they will need a guardian until they reach the age of majority. If you have chosen a guardian and named this person in your will, you have given yourself a say in who will raise your children. If you don’t, the choice will be made for you by a judge based on who steps forward to apply.

If you wish your children to be raised in a particular faith, or in a particular location, or simply feel that one set of siblings is better suited to raising children, you need to ensure that you have chosen this. It is particularly important if your chosen guardian is not related to you by blood, as that person would have no right to apply to be your children’s guardian. Another important tip: only name your chosen guardian, and not their spouse, to avoid having your children put into a custody dispute.

No one wants to think about not being around for their children. Not thinking about it, however, can only cause more harm.