Guardianship of a child is a critical component of an estate plan and often a triggering event in a person’s life. Often the arrival of a child is what brings young clients into the office.
It is so important for you to declare who you wish to serve as the caretaker of your children because should you not specify, the court must choose from whomever presents themselves to serve as guardian. The person the court appoints may not be who you would have chosen.
The natural guardian of a child is the surviving parent but that doesn’t automatically extend to the manager of any property the child inherits. Should a child inherit property directly while a minor, the court will be required to appoint a guardian of the child’s estate. Using your will to create a trust for the benefit of the child is the best way to avoid the need for a guardian of child’s property.