Nobody likes to think about the possibility of not being there for their children. One of the most difficult decisions a parent can make during the estate planning process is who should raise their child if they should die or become incapacitated. It is also one of the most critical decisions they can make.
Parents must plan for their children’s future, including who would raise their children if they both should die. While this is an unlikely event, it does happen. We understand that nobody else will raise your children exactly as you would, so it can be very difficult to decide who to appoint. We also understand that the individual you select to raise your children may not be the best choice to manage the finances for them.
These are issues we can discuss and help you create an estate plan that addresses each of them. In your Will you can appoint a guardian of your minor children. This is the individual you want to have physical custody of your children and to raise them until they reach the age of 18 years old.
If you create a trust, you can name a trustee over the property you leave to your children. This is the individual who will supervise and manage the money and assets you leave for the benefit of your children. If appropriate, this person can be the same person you appoint as the guardian over your children
There are pros and cons to having the same person serve as the guardian over your children and their finances. It allows the individual raising your children the ability to provide for their needs in an efficient and effective way. It can be easier on everyone involved. However, in some cases it can also create problems if the guardian is not financially responsible. Thus, you have to do a “gut check” and decide whether you truly trust the guardian to invest wisely and only use the funds for the best interests of your children, and not for their own personal gain.
Estate planning can provide you with flexibility in how your children’s inheritance is distributed. You can create a trust that sets forth unique instructions from you. For instance, you can set a certain age your child must reach before they receive the money. You can also create a schedule for when each child receives a distribution of funds. We can help you create a plan that works for your family and ensures that your wishes will be carried. Most importantly, we can help you create a plan that protects your children.
If you have questions regarding appointing a guardian for your children, we can help. The Astill Law Office has provided high quality legal services for over 30 years. We specialize in wills, trusts, estate planning, and asset protection. If you have any questions about creating a Trust, Will, or estate planning in general, contact The Astill Law Office at 801-438-8698.