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Naming a Legal Guardian

In today’s extremely busy world, many parents delay the drafting and execution of their last Will and Testament. Besides the ability to direct and control the distribution of your assets after death, a Will may provide for the designation of a Guardian for your minor children. If you do not have a Will or have not designated a Guardian for your minor children, the State may appoint one for you if both parents are deceased. The results can be expensive and in most cases totally the opposite of what a parent intended for their children.

First, an expensive and drawn out court battle may ensue over custody of the children and the ultimate court appointed Guardian may not have been the person you would have chosen. The cost of the court proceedings may be taken from your Estate which results in less money for your children.

Second, management of the remaining assets of your Estate will be supervised by the court and paid to your child in a lump sum at the age of twenty-one. Wills which include Trusts for Children often delay the total distribution until the children are older and better able to handle a lump sum of money. To avoid the above scenario, a Will should be drafted which names a Guardian for your children. It is often wise to name a contingent or back-up Guardian in the event your initial choice for Guardian is not able to fulfill the responsibilities of Guardian.

 

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