If the unthinkable happens, you want to ensure you protect your children’s future. Estate planning decisions you make today could impact them forever. One of those important decisions is who you name as the guardian of their estate.
The guardian will become the caretaker of their financial future if you cannot make those decisions. If a minor inherits assets, the court will appoint a guardian to manage their estate until they turn 18. Your estate plan can make a recommendation. The person appointed matters, and you need to consider who you want in that role.
The guardian should be someone you trust, or a person you know will put your child’s best interests before their own. When making your decision, it is important that you understand the duties they will assume.
The person you choose must answer to the estate and the court
The guardian of the estate has duties and obligations, both to the child and the Probate Court, including:
- Managing the estate’s money
- Making “smart” investments
- Managing the estate’s property
- Maintaining financial records and accounting information
An important responsibility requires trust
The best interest of your children will be the deciding factor in the court’s appointment. If there is a surviving parent, the court usually appoints them. If neither parent survives, the court will look for other options. You can have a say in that selection.
There are safeguards to prevent abuse
The guardian cannot pay themselves or their attorney from the estate. They also cannot give gifts from the estate to anyone.
One of the rewards of your hard work is your ability to provide for your children. The person you select as guardian of your child’s estate can ensure their future when you cannot.