It’s a talk that no one wants to have. Sitting down with loved ones to talk about a time when you and your spouse pass away is difficult but extremely necessary, particularly when it comes to caring for your children.
First and foremost, you need to know the difference between a trustee and a guardian and the essential roles they will play. A trustee manages the children’s assets held in trust and responsibly used for their specific needs. Guardians focus on personal needs and welfare, providing a roof over their heads and ensuring that they receive a good education and quality medical care.
An important conversation
While Zoom technology came of age in the last several years, this all-important meeting requires face-to-face interactions, particularly since it regards highly personal and emotionally charged matters. Should your proposed choices accept, ensure that they have the time to take on the responsibility as a parental figure and the one in charge of finances.
The conversation should also cover their approach to education, religion, medical care and other aspects of life. After all, these are people who will help shape your children into the adults they will become.
Once you finalize the trust and guardianship documentation, your job isn’t over. On an annual basis, you should take another look at all of your estate planning documents to ensure that they reflect your current needs.
Nothing defines a bond of trust more than the selection of guardians and trustees. While no one wants to consider a time when they are no longer around for their children, peace of mind can play an important role in knowing that your children will be provided for long into the future.