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 particular answer will be a deal-breaker 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 under 20.

[  ] The guardian is over 20.

[  ] The guardian is over 30.

[  ] The guardian is over 40.

[  ] The guardian is over 50.

[  ] The guardian is over 60.

[  ] The guardian is over 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 views of the guardian.

Prior encounters

For this section, please check the box that most specifically describes how often the guardian sees your children.

[  ] 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 not 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 and characteristics 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.