Thinking about death is often difficult and unsettling enough as is, but factoring in dying before children are old enough to take care of themselves adds another layer of anxiety to the equation. Pennsylvania parents should give considerable thought to who is fit to raise their kids should something happen to them.

Turning to Forbes is a good place to start narrowing down a list of potential guardians. The process involves a number of factors and questions. Hopefully, the insights prove useful for parents.

Shared values

Some parents have values they feel are essential for sharing with and instilling in their children, notes Parents.com. Potential guardians should share those same values and be comfortable with teaching them to others. It is good for parents to get specific regarding their most important values so there is no confusion between them and the chosen guardian.

Relationship status

Because relationship statuses change, meaning people enter and exit relationships all the time, parents should not limit their list of guardians to only currently married individuals. Single guardians can prove just as capable, if not more so, than married guardians. What matters most is that the guardian loves and raises the child.

Notifying candidates

Acting as a guardian for a child should not come as an unexpected surprise. Once parents have made their final selection, they should let that individual know ASAP. That way, the person has a chance to think about what it means to be a guardian, can focus on strengthening her or his bond with the child and can make any necessary preparations well in advance.

Much like the trustee for an estate plan, parents should review their choice of guardian every few years. The chosen individual can become a better or worse candidate over time.