Guardians for Minors

Guardians for Minors: Estate Planning Issues

Most people want their estate plan to take care of their children after they (the parents) are gone. There are many things to think about here, including who should make decisions regarding their children’s day to day care, who should make decisions regarding their children’s inheritance and financial resources, and at which age the children should be able to receive their inheritance.

What does a guardian do?

The guardian will step in and begin making decisions regarding your children’s day to day care if both you and your spouse (or the other parent) pass away.

How can we make sure that the guardians we have named for our children have the resources to raise them well?

Parents of minor will often purchase life insurance to replace their income in the unlikely event of their (the parents) death.

How do we name a guardian for our children?

Your Will can nominate a guardian for your children. The probate judge doesn’t have to accept your choice but the court will almost always go along, unless someone challenges that choice as not being in your children’s best interests.

What should we think about when picking a guardian for our children?

Who would provide the best care for your children?

Is the home you choose large enough for them?

Would moving in with the guardian disrupt the children’s current life? In other words, it the guardian local so that the children can continue attending the same schools?

Is it better to name an individual or a couple as the guardian?

It’s better to nominate an individual as a guardian. If you name a couple and they split up, what happens to the child?