Merlino & Gonzalez October 2018

A Guardianship Questionnaire


Deciding who will raise your children in the event that something happens to you and your partner is no easy task. In fact, it’s probably an issue you don’t even want to think about at all. However, if you don’t take the time to establish a guardianship plan, the courts will decide who raises your kids. No child deserves that fate, and that’s why it’s so important to ask tough questions about guardianship before it’s too late. Of course, selecting a guardian is a decision that merits thoughtful consideration. A great way to narrow down a list of potential candidates is to ask yourself the following questions. WHO ARE ALL THE POTENTIAL CANDIDATES? Write down anyone who could conceivably care for your kids. As you answer the subsequent questions, cross names off the list. WILL THEY LIKELY LIVE FOR MANY MORE YEARS? Grandparents are a logical choice for guardianship, but they may be too old to be healthy and fit guardians by the time your youngest child is an adult. ARE THEY EQUIPPED FOR GUARDIANSHIP? Raising children requires energy, focus, and stamina in abundance. You’ll want to choose a guardian who can provide all three. DO THEY HAVE CHILDREN OF THEIR OWN? If your prospective guardians don’t have kids, you need to determine whether they’d be fit parents. If they do, you need to consider whether they have enough space on their plates for more.

WHAT ARE THEIR VIEWS ON SCHOOLING AND RELIGION? Parents often have beliefs about these topics that they hold very dear. An alignment of social and cultural values should be a quality you look for in potential guardians. WHERE DO THEY LIVE? Having to uproot children after they lose their parents can be incredibly jarring, so nearby guardians are preferable. However, distance shouldn’t be a complete deal-breaker. ARE THEY RECENTLY MARRIED? If you decide on a couple as guardians, you’ll need to also decide who takes care of your kids in the event of a divorce.

ARE THEY FINANCIALLY SECURE? You’ll be able to bequeath assets to your children, but they may not have access to them until they turn 18. In the meantime, you want to be sure they are in a financially stable environment. Once you’ve narrowed down your list based on these questions, it’s up to you to decide on the right person or people to raise your children in your stead. It may not but fun or easy, but it’s more than worth it.


take a break

• 16 very thin slices of pancetta (or cured, unsmoked bacon) • 2 pink lady apples • 3 ounces manchego cheese, 1/4 inch thick • Toothpicks for skewering INGREDIENTS


1. Core apples and cut each into 8 wedges. Remove rind of manchego cheese and cut into 2-inch sticks. 2. Heat a grill pan or skillet to medium-high. 3. On a cutting board, lay pancetta or bacon slices flat and place an apple wedge and piece of cheese in the center of each. 4. Roll pancetta tightly and skewer with toothpick. 5. Grill until cheese is melted and pancetta or bacon is golden and crispy, about 5 minutes. 6. Drain excess grease on a paper towel and serve hot.

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