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Important Considerations When Naming a Guardian in California

Posted on in Estate Planning

San Francisco estate planning attorneyAlthough it can be unsettling to think about the future and what will happen upon your death, it is necessary to ensure your wishes are carried out. Estate planning can help prevent disputes among your family members after you pass away or in the event you become incapacitated. Guardianship is when a court awards someone other than the child’s parent to have custody of the child, manage the child’s property (estate), or do both. Naming a guardian in your will can avoid uncertainty surrounding who will care for your minor children if you are involved in a sudden or unexpected accident that leaves them without a parent to make decisions on their behalf. It is important to note that if your children’s other parent is still alive and has parental rights, he or she must consent to your nomination of the guardian. 

Keeping Your Children’s Best Interests in Mind

There are several factors that you should consider when deciding who to appoint as your children’s guardian upon your death. First and foremost, this is not a decision to take lightly. The guardian should be someone you know and trust. Make sure the person you nominate is willing and able to take care of your children. It also helps if the person already has a strong bond or relationship with them. In most situations, a close relative or friend of the family might be the best choice, as long as he or she makes decisions that are based on the children’s well-being. There are two types of guardians, one of the person and one of the estate. Depending on personal preference, the same individual can be appointed as guardian of the person and the estate, or separate guardians can be nominated for each.

Guardianship of the Person

In a guardianship of the person, the guardian has the same responsibilities as a parent in terms of care for the minor children. In the state of California, this means he or she has full legal and physical custody of the children and can make all the decisions about their care, including the children’s:

  • Shelter, clothing, and food
  • Safety and protection
  • Physical and emotional development
  • Medical and dental care
  • Education and other special needs

Guardianship of the Estate

In California, a guardian of the estate is responsible for managing and making decisions related to any assets that you leave to your children in a will. This type of guardianship is also set up to manage children’s income, money, or other property, such as from an inheritance, until the minors turn 18 years old. The guardian of the estate will perform the following duties:

  • Oversee the children’s money
  • Make wise investments
  • Manage the children’s property 

Contact a San Francisco Guardianship Attorney

Planning ahead for the future can be daunting, especially after an unprecedented year like 2020. However, it is crucial to put your directives in writing in order to protect your assets, as well as your children’s future. A skilled Bay Area estate planning lawyer can help you draft a comprehensive estate plan that names a guardian if you have minor children. Attorney Martin Alperen is known as “The Rolling Attorney,” and he has proven success in both the government and private sectors, including all areas of estate planning. For your convenience, Attorney Alperen will meet clients wherever they are for confidential appointments, and he also offers virtual meetings. Schedule your free consultation by calling 415-534-1200 today. 





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