Any person that has minor children should have an estate plan in place. Your estate plan should include the following two important pieces:
1. Guardianship Provision included in your Last Will and Testament: This provision allows you to designate who you want the guardian of your child/children to be. In the event of your death, the guardian would take possession of your child/children. The guardian would make decisions such as, where they go to school, where they live, what activities they are involved in, etc. The guardian would also be in charge of their finances.
2. Declaration of Guardian: This stand-alone document allows you to name the individuals who would be the guardian of your child/children in the event of your incapacity or disability. For example, if you were injured in a car accident and unable to care for your children, the guardian would step in and be in charge of caring for and making financial decisions for your children.
Without these estate planning pieces in place, it is the Court that decides who would take care of your child/children and their finances. Dealing with the Court could be an expensive and lengthy process for your loved ones. Having these two estate planning pieces will not only save your loved ones time and money, but most importantly it will give you peace of mind knowing that your child/children will be taken care of if something happened to you.