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Is a Guardian Needed For My Children?

Is a Guardian Needed For My Children?

Estate planning for young parents usually has more to do with who will take care of their minor children than it is about who to leave their estate to. Naming a guardian in your will ensures that you make that choice and not the probate courts.

When you have minor children, it is essential for parents to have this estate planning tool in place, even if you have few financial assets. A guardian is someone you will name in your will who, should both parents die, will have custody of your children, manage the financial assets and property of the children, or both.

Protection For Minor Children

When both parents die, California probate courts will need to intercede to name someone who they feel can best take care of the children. But most parents don’t want this decision left up to the court. Most parents will want to take great care in who they name as the guardian for their children and discuss their decision with this party to ensure that that person is also agreeable.

If a guardian hasn’t been named in a will, the court will choose one. Although it will commonly be a family member, some family members are not always the best choices or equally responsible. There may be certain family members that you would not want to raise your children. Unfortunately, the court will not know this when making their decision.

Two Types of Guardianship

There are two specific types of probate guardianship. One is a guardianship of the person, and the other is guardianship of the estate.

Access to Financial Assistance After You Are Gone

While you may have provided financially for your children in your life insurance policy, minor children do not have access to these financial benefits as minors without the assistance of a guardian.

You may have provided for your children by naming them as beneficiaries in your life insurance policy, but they have no access to this money as minors. In California, minor children cannot receive proceeds from life insurance even if they are named as beneficiaries on the policy. Once children come of age, they will then have access to the life insurance funds being held for them. Unfortunately, most eighteen-year-olds have little financial experience, and having access to a sudden large amount of money is usually not a good idea.

These are critical matters to consider when naming a guardian. The person you name as guardian of the estate should have a good understanding of finances and investments in order to make the best possible financial decisions for the children and ensure that the money is going to serve the children’s best interests and be there for their future.

The Important Advantages to Naming a Guardian in a Will

In the event that you and your spouse die, having a will in place naming a guardian makes the decision yours and not the court’s. This provides

Without the designation of a guardian, children can be placed in vulnerable positions. Once the court gets involved, fulfilling guardianship responsibilities can take a great deal of time. In the meantime, children can be left in uncertain situations during a very challenging and fragile time.

Getting Skilled Advice in Santa Ana Before Naming a Guardian

Having a will naming a guardian is something all young parents should consider. You should take a great deal of care when selecting a guardian for your children, whether it be a close family member or even a family friend.

Getting the guidance of a skilled Santa Ana guardian attorney can help you make the right decisions for your family and your children’s future when designating a guardian. At the Law Offices of Roshni T. Desai we can help guide and advise you to ensure that you are considering all matters when choosing a guardian for your minor children. Call us at (714) 694-1200 or contact us through our online contact page to schedule a consultation.