Establishing guardianship for your minor children
No one wants to think about planning ahead for a time when they will no longer be here. However, it is necessary to do so in order to make sure that your wishes will be carried out exactly as you hoped. Creating an estate plan is important, especially for your remaining family members.
When you make your plans, one of the most important things to do is to name a guardian for your children who are under 18 years old. Before you name a guardian in your estate plans, talk to the person about being a guardian for your children. Though one hopes the day never comes when a guardian has to step in, the future cannot be predicted. Therefore, it’s better to take care of this matter now.
Types of guardianship
There are two types of guardianship to consider when it comes to your children:
- Guardianship of the person allows the appointed guardian to assume care for the children in the event that both parents pass away. The guardian will make sure that the basic needs of the child are met and care for them in place of their parents. Usually, this person is a very close friend or family member whom the children already know.
- Guardianship of the estate gives the appointed guardian control of the funds, property and assets that belong to the children.
In the state of California, guardians are appointed through the court. If you do not choose a guardian and the unthinkable happens, a guardian will be appointed. By planning ahead, you can let the court know who you want to act as guardian to your children. Work with someone you trust to make sure that you have all the legal avenues covered.