Clients doing wills often want some guidance as to what to consider in picking a guardian. The following checklist may provide some assistance. Whether or not a given answer will be a dealbreaker for a client depends on that particular client.

 

Geographical proximity

[  ] The guardian lives in the same country.

[  ] The guardian lives in the same province.

[  ] The guardian lives in the same city.

[  ] The guardian lives in the same neighbourhood.

 

Age

For this section, please check the box that most specifically describes the age of your guardian.

[  ] The guardian is over 20.

[  ] The guardian is under 30.

[  ] The guardian is under 40.

[  ] The guardian is under 50.

[  ] The guardian is under 60.

[  ] The guardian is under 70.

 

Health

[  ] The guardian has no health problems.

[  ] The guardian is physically fit.

[  ] The guardian has a history of heart disease.

[  ] The guardian has a history of cancer.

[  ] The guardian is significantly overweight.

[  ] The guardian has mobility that is significantly limited.

[  ] The guardian has a severe disability.

[  ] The guardian has a history of severe depression.

[  ] The guardian has a history of severe mental health problems.

[  ] The guardian has previously suffered from an addiction to drugs or alcohol.

[  ] The guardian currently suffers from an addiction to drugs or alcohol.

[  ] You don’t know much if anything about the health of the guardian.

 

Religion

For the purpose of this section, “religious views” may include views such as atheism and agnosticism.

[  ] The guardian is an atheist/agnostic.

[  ] The guardian is not religious.

[  ] The guardian is not very religious.

[  ] The guardian is moderately religious.

[  ] The guardian is extremely religious.

[  ] The guardian has religious views that are significantly different from your own.

[  ] The guardian has religious views that are somewhat different from your own.

[  ] The guardian has religious views that are consistent with your own.

[  ] You have no idea about the religious view of the guardian.

 

Prior encounters

For this section, please check the box that most specifically describes the age of your guardian.

[  ] The guardian sees your children at least once a week.

[  ] The guardian sees your children at least once a month.

[  ] The guardian sees your children at least once every six months.

[  ] The guardian sees your children at least once every year.

[  ] The guardian sees your children at least once every two years.

[  ] The guardian has seen your children at least once in the last five years.

[  ] The guardian has never met your children.

 

Your relationship to the guardian

For these relationships, in-laws count. In other words, a brother-in-law would count as a sibling.

[  ] The guardian is a sibling (or half-sibling or step-sibling).

[  ] The guardian is a parent.

[  ] The guardian is an uncle/aunt.

[  ] The guardian is a grandparent.

[  ] The guardian is a cousin.

[  ] The guardian is a niece/nephew.

[  ] The guardian is some other relative.

[  ] The guardian is a very close personal friend.

[  ] The guardian is moderately close personal friend.

[  ] The guardian is a friend.

[  ] The guardian is an acquaintance.

 

The guardian’s closeness to your children

[  ] The guardian and your children are close.

[  ] The guardian is close to some of your children, but no particularly close to others.

[  ] The guardian feels a connection to your children, but your children don’t seem connected to the guardian.

[  ] Your children feel a connection to the guardian, but the guardian does not feel a particularly strong connection to your children.

[  ] The guardian does not feel a strong connection to your children, and your children don’t feel a strong connection to the guardian.

[  ] You don’t know what, if any, connection exists between the guardian and your children.

 

Language

[  ] The guardian and your children all speak English fluently.

[  ] The guardian and your children all speak a non-English language fluently.

[  ] The guardian is not fluent in English.

[  ] Your children are not fluent in English.

[  ] The guardian and your children may have some difficulty communicating due to language differences.

 

Parenting situation

[  ] The guardian is currently raising several children.

[  ] The guardian is currently raising one or two children.

[  ] The guardian has experience raising children, but is not currently raising children.

[  ] The guardian has no experience raising children.

 

Shared values

[  ] The guardian shares most or all of your values, particularly what you regard as the important ones.

[  ] The guardian shares some of your values.

[  ] The guardian shares few if any of your values.

[  ] You don’t know whether or not the guardian shares your values.

 

Personality of the guardian

[  ] The guardian is smart.

[  ] The guardian is of average intelligence.

[  ] The guardian is playful.

[  ] The guardian is strict.

[  ] The guardian is fun.

[  ] The guardian is reasonable.

[  ] The guardian is serious.

[  ] The guardian graduated from high school.

[  ] The guardian has post-secondary education.

[  ] The guardian is an introvert.

[  ] The guardian is an extrovert.

[  ] The guardian enjoys physical activity.

[  ] The guardian gets along well with others.

[  ] The guardian is emotionally balanced.

[  ] The guardian is sometimes too serious.

[  ] The guardian enjoys learning.

[  ] The guardian enjoys teaching.

[  ] The guardian has one or more interesting hobbies.

[  ] The guardian likes children.

 

Your children

[  ] Your children are healthy and happy.

[  ] At least one child is physically disabled.

[  ] At least one child has a slight learning disability.

[  ] At least one child has a significant learning disability.

[  ] At least one child has slight behavioural or emotional problems.

[  ] At least one child has significant behavioural or emotional problems.

[  ] At least one child has a significant health problem.

 

Financial and monetary circumstances
[  ] The guardian has a very good income.

[  ] The guardian has a moderately good income.

[  ] The guardian has a low level of income.

[  ] The guardian has significant savings.

[  ] The guardian owns a home.

[  ] The guardian rents a home.

[  ] The guardian lives in a house.

[  ] The guardian lives in an apartment.

[  ] The guardian has little or no savings.

[  ] The guardian has had financial difficulties.

[  ] The guardian currently has financial difficulties.

[  ] You don’t know much or anything about the guardian’s financial situation.

 

Age range of children

[  ] Your children are in their teens or older.

[  ] Some of your children are older and others are younger.

[  ] All of your children are under the age of 13.

[  ] All of your children are under the age of 8.

[  ] All of your children are under the age of 6.

 

Establishment of children

[  ] At least some (one or more) of your children have lived in their current city/town for more than 5 years.

[  ] At least some (one or more) of your children have lived in their current city/town for more than 2 years.

[  ] At least some of your children are in school.

[  ] At least some of your children have friends in the community where you live.

[  ] None of your children are in school.

[  ] Your children have few if any friends in the community where they currently live.

[  ] At least some of your children are involved in extracurricular activities.

[  ] None of your children are involved in extracurricular activities.

 

Legal history of the guardian

[  ] The guardian has had legal troubles in the past.

[  ] The guardian has been arrested in the past.

[  ] The guardian has gone to jail in the past.

[  ] The guardian has gone through a bitter divorce or breakup that involved a court hearing.

[  ] The guardian is currently in a rocky relationship.

[  ] The guardian has had previous involvement with Child Welfare.

[  ] Children have been apprehended from the guardian in the past.

[  ] The guardian has legal immigration or citizenship status in Canada.

[  ] The guardian is easily able to get legal status in Canada.

[  ] The guardian would require a visa to come to Canada and getting such a visa would not be easy.