You have a minor child who depends on you for their survival, so you need to make sure that they will be cared for if you are ever unable to care for them. By creating an estate plan, you can address your minor child’s care and custody and provide instructions about how your money and property should be used for their care should something happen to you.
Care and Custody of Your Child
Creating an estate plan allows you to name someone to care for your minor child if you are unable. A child under the age of majority (eighteen or twenty-one depending on your state law) cannot legally care for themselves (unless they have been emancipated). A guardian must be appointed to take care of the minor child if both parents have passed away or are unable to care for the child. It is important to note that if the other legal parent is still alive, that parent may receive custody of the child. However, you need to have a plan in case there is no other legal parent or the other legal parent cannot care for the child. If you do not choose a guardian, the judge will look to state law to determine the appropriate guardian, who may not be the person that you would have chosen.
How do you nominate a guardian?
There are a few different ways to nominate a guardian to care for your child after your death. First, it can be done in a last will and testament (also known as a will). In this document, you can name someone to be your child’s guardian after your death, a person to wind […]