Anyone who has a child should consider preparing an appointment of a guardian in the event it is ever needed. While none of us likes to think about another person raising our children, the fact is that if you are injured in an accident and unable to communicate or you suffer a life-threatening illness and as a result are unable to make decisions on your own, you will lose the ability to make this decision and as a result, the court may make that decision for you. While the family courts may wish to confirm your appointment, ultimately, if you have a minor child, you need to ensure your wishes for their future are known. Here are some things you should know:
Guardian of Person Versus Property
In some cases, the court may require two separate appointments, one guardian who manages the finances of the minor child (or dependent special needs adult) and one who manages the physical person. A properly drawn up appointment can address both of these matters.
The Age of the Person Matters
Except in the cases where a disabled person may be unable to make decisions about their own care, living conditions or medical care, etc. a child who is over the age of 14 may be allowed some input into who serves as guardian. This is important to know if your children are currently 14 and over or are approaching these ages when we prepare these appointments.
Discussing Choice With Guardian
We always encourage our clients to discuss their choices with the person they are considering naming as a guardian. This step is important as there are legal and financial responsibilities that are part of the role of the guardian. Keep in mind, you can restrict what the guardian can do financially within the appointment if you elect to do so.
Naming a guardian for your child or children is a deeply personal estate planning decision and one that requires a great deal of consideration. At The Law Office of Anne Marie Sibal, we’re happy to provide you with the necessary information to make an informed decision then help you prepare the proper legal documents in the event a guardianship becomes necessary. Call us today at (864) 416-1332 and we can arrange to meet or we can handle these matters through our virtual services.