Rochester estate planning attorneys provide assistance with the process of choosing a legal guardian for your children. This is one of many important steps that you need to take if you are a parent and you have a child who is depending upon you for care and support. While no parent likes to think about what could happen if they are not able to raise their child to adulthood as a result of incapacity or as a result of an untimely passing, it’s imperative that every parent plan ahead for this possibility so that children can be appropriately provided for.
The Law Office of Michael Robinson, P.C. is here to help. Our dedicated and experienced legal team can provide personalized assistance with the process of naming a guardian for your children. We can help you to understand the key factors to think about as you select a guardian and can assist you in making use of the right legal tools to ensure that your children are physically and financially provided for. Give us a call today to find out how our Rochester estate planning attorneys can help you to make plans for your children’s care in case something happens to you.
How to Pick a Legal Guardian for Your Kids
If one parent passes away, the other parent will typically take care of the children by default without any need for guardianship proceedings. However, if both parents pass away or if a child is being raised by a single parent without the involvement of the other parent, then a guardian will need to be chosen. Parents should make sure to work with an experienced attorney to name a guardian so their wishes will be respected and so the child will be cared for by someone of the parents choosing. When parents name a guardian in advance of passing away, this can also reduce the likelihood of children ending up in the middle of a custody battle or of children ending up in the child welfare system.
When you select a legal guardian for your children, you ideally want to ensure that the person who you are selecting will raise your kids in accordance with your ideals and values. You should also think about whether the person who you are naming as guardian for your children will be likely to live until the children reach adulthood. The death of a parent is understandably very consequential for a child, so naming a guardian who is older or in poor health and who faces a significant risk of passing away before a child becomes an adult can be the wrong choice for most parents.
In addition to selecting a guardian to care for your children, you should also think about who you want to manage the inheritance that you provide for your children. Typically, leaving children money in a last will and testament is not the best course of action because the court could end up appointing a guardian for the funds and the child could also end up inheriting with no strings attached at age 18. Making use of the Uniform Transfers to Minors Act is one option you have for structuring an inheritance and making sure it is managed appropriately. You can also create a trust and name a trustee who will have a fiduciary duty to manage the funds you provide to your child in accordance with your wishes.
You can make your trustee the same person as the individual who you select to serve as guardian for your children or, if you prefer, you can name someone else as a trustee to manage funds who you feel confident will be best able to safeguard the assets you are providing to support your child after you are gone.
Getting Help from Rochester Estate Planning Attorneys
Rochester estate planning attorneys at The Law Office of Michael Robinson, P.C. can provide the personalized help you need with selecting a guardian for your children, with making a financial plan for the support of your children if something happens to you, and with otherwise taking the key estate planning steps that you need to take to be prepared for the future. To find out how our firm can help you with all aspects of the estate planning process, join us for a free seminar. You can also give us a call at (585) 546-1734 or contact us online at any time for personalized help making your estate plan.