5600 Tennyson Parkway, Suite 382, Plano, Texas 75024

Naming a Guardian for Your Child as Part of Your Estate Plan

Every parent wants to ensure their child’s well-being no matter what lies ahead. This is why mothers and fathers of minors should prepare a detailed declaration regarding legal guardianship for their children in the event of their death or incapacity. This language can accompany instructions for the distribution of property in a last will and testament. Without guardianship provisions, your children could be part of a struggle among family members and friends during an already difficult time. 

Though the actual document concerning guardianship is fairly straightforward, it is wise to give serious thought to your decision. You should  take the time to find someone who shares your values and can provide a nurturing environment for your child. Often, this is a close relative such as the child’s aunt, uncle or grandparent. Discuss your wishes with your chosen guardian to ensure they are comfortable taking on this responsibility. Many families opt to nominate one or two contingent guardians in case the primary designee cannot fulfill their responsibility when the time comes. 

Along with guardianship of the person, which gives an adult legal authority to make decisions regarding the child’s upbringing, there is also guardianship of the estate, which puts an adult in charge of a minor’s assets and financial matters. Typically, the same person will handle both legal duties, but you can divide the authority if you believe that different people would be the best choice for each role. 

There are many benefits to creating a notarized guardianship declaration with the guidance of a knowledgeable Texas estate planning attorney. Knowing your children will be cared for by someone you trust offers peace of mind, and having a pre-designated guardian should avert painful disputes over who will raise your son or daughter. You can also use this part of your estate plan to express your wishes regarding your child’s education, religion, medical treatment and participation in family traditions. Establishing a trust or another instrument to meet your child’s financial needs is also an option. 

Naming a guardian can be an emotional but empowering experience. At the Law Offices of Kevan I. Benkowitz in Plano, I can guide you through the process, ensuring your wishes are documented clearly and in proper legal form. Please call or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation regarding guardianship and other estate planning concerns.  


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