Choosing a guardian for your children is one of the most difficult things you may ever have to do as a parent, and if you have a special needs child the task is even more difficult. From parenting style to living situation to your gut feeling about this person’s ability to love your child as well as you do—there are endless things to consider before you ask the big question.

In honor of Autism Awareness Month, MassMutual has published a list of 10 questions for parents to ask themselves when choosing a guardian for their child with autism or special needs.

Although the list is supposed to be for parents of children with special needs, the questions are a helpful road map for any parent, not just parents of special needs children. MassMutual’s ten questions cover issues such as considering how close the person you are considering as guardian currently lives to your child, whether he or she is financially able to assume the responsibility of guardian, and whether you should name a second or third person or couple as backup guardians. These are important questions that all parents should ask themselves before choosing a guardian.

Having children means always planning ahead and thinking about the future, even as you try to live in the present and appreciate the small moments in every day. Nominating a guardian for your children makes it that much easier to focus on the here and now, because in the back of your mind you’ll know that your children will be protected if something happens to you. Let our firm help you achieve that peace of mind.