Custodial parents, who are separated from the other parent of the child also have numerous considerations to take into account. In most situations, if a custodial parent dies, the other parent will be appointed as a guardian of the minor. However, if there are issues that can be detrimental to the care of the child, such as mental problems, alcohol or drug abuse, the custodial parent should choose another guardian. He or she can also write a letter to the judge and keep it with the will, explaining why another guardian was chosen, and explain that it is not simply because the custodial parent does not like the other parent.
Estate planning may include documents such as a will, health care power of attorney, durable power of attorney, a living will, trust and transfer on death affidavit. The need for each family or individual depends on the goals and purpose the client has in mind. That is why it is extremely important to speak with an attorney who can advise her clients what documents are required and which ones might not be necessary at the time.
It is crucial to remember that estate planning documents should be looked at and reviewed at least every 3 years or upon any big events in life such as a marriage, child being born, or a beneficiary or guardian in already existing plan passing away. This ensures that the documents reflect the clients’ true wishes and vision.
For more information on children’s guardianship, including the differences between a guardianship and a guardian of an estate, please see my article “Guardianship of a Child vs. Guardian of the Estate”.
To discuss what is best for you and your family, please call/text (216) 586-4246 to schedule an appointment.