Making arrangements for your property in the event of your death is one thing. But making arrangements for the care of your minor children is an even more important aspect of estate planning. Choosing a guardian who will care for your minor children in the unlikely event that you can't is something that you want to do carefully after much consideration.
A guardian is a person who has been granted the authority to make essential decisions regarding your children's upbringing, including their education, health care, and religious instruction. Usually, parents share guardianship of their children while they are alive, but when both parents pass away and the children are under the age of 18, a court must choose someone else to assume this responsibility.
Generally, a guardian is appointed in the Will of the last parent to die. If no guardian is appointed, or no Will exists after the last parent dies, a court will have to choose a guardian for the children, unless a relative or friend steps up and goes to court to request a guardianship.
There are two types of guardians:
Many parents choose a different person for each of these roles for many different reasons. Perhaps the person who is most suited to love and raise your child is not necessarily the most financially capable. Having two different qualified people in charge of these different aspects of your children's well-being is something that you may want to consider.
Your children's guardian must be at least 21years of age and should be young enough to carry out the task of parenting your children until they reach adulthood. Here are some other important guidelines to follow when choosing a guardian:
Whomever you choose as guardian of your children, it is important to remember a couple of things:
Depending on your circumstances, there may be more factors to consider, but these are the basics. To discuss choosing a guardian for your children, contact our qualified and experienced Colorado estate planning attorneys through the contact link on our website.