Estate Planning Lawyer in Fairfield County, CT
If you’re a parent of minor children, you probably think about what happens to your kids if you die before they become adults. Who will take care of the kids? What about your estate? Who manages the money for the kids? In your last will and testament, you can name the people you want taking care of your kids and their inheritance instead of leaving it up to a judge.
What Does the Guardian Do?
The person you name to take care of your children is usually called a guardian. You can name a temporary guardian in case the permanent guardian lives far away. You and your child’s other parent should have a serious discussion about who gets custody of the kids in case something happens to both of you. The guardian will take care of your children as they grow up and become adults.
Ideally, the wills of both parents should name the same guardians, to avoid confusion. It’s better to name individuals rather than couples, because you don’t know what could happen to a couple. If the parents of the children are divorced, it could make naming a guardian more complicated, which means you may need to discuss the ins and outs of the relationship with the other parent before naming a guardian.
Who Takes Care of the Money?
When children are the beneficiaries of an estate, the assets go into a trust until the children reach a certain age. The person who controls the trust is called a trustee. The trustee manages the trust and has a fiduciary responsibility to the children. The court may require updates on the status of the trust and how the assets are being used to benefit the child.
You may choose to name the guardian as a trustee, but you can have different people serve in each capacity. If the guardian isn’t good with money, you may want to have a separate trustee. This gives oversight as to how the money is used. Keep in mind that the guardian knows the child’s day-to-day needs. This is a good case for making the guardian the trustee.
Whatever you do, by naming the people you want taking care of your estate and children, it’s your decision. If you don’t have a family member or friend willing or able to take care of your child’s finances, you might be able to name a bank as a corporate trustee.
One Other Important Person Named in Your Will
Your will outlines your wishes for your estate. As part of your last will and testament, you name an executor, who makes sure your wishes are carried out. You should discuss this with your estate planning lawyer in Fairfield County, CT to name the right person to oversee your estate as it transfers at your death. Make an appointment today to get started on your estate plan.
Contact Sweeney Legal, LLC for their insight into estate planning and choosing a guardian.