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Should I include a guardian in my will?

On Behalf of | Jun 15, 2022 | Estate Planning |

Congratulations! You are finally estate planning. You are drafting a will, and figuring out how to care for your loved ones after you pass. When you are done, you will feel a weight lifted off your heart, and you will know your family will be OK. However, one thing that many parents forget to include in their Greensburg, Pennsylvania, estate plan is a guardian for their children.

Why are guardians often forgotten?

Unfortunately, some try to estate plan on their own using free online resources, which often do not include anything complicated, like trusts or guardians. Others may be utilizing a paid website that simply does not have the option for a trust or guardian. Other planners may not even know the importance of a guardian, but they are extremely important for parents, especially if your kids are young or have lifelong disabilities.

What do guardians do?

Essentially, a guardian steps into the parent role after you pass. If you and the other parent are still alive, it may seem easier to assume the other parent will simply take over. However, what if you both pass or become incapacitated? This is where the guardian will step in as the new parent for your children.

Guardians for young children

A guardian for a young child will be different than one for a child with a life-long disability. For a young child, the guardian will simply act as the parent until that child becomes an adult. They will step in to parent, including care, comfort, education, food, shelter, etc. You can create a trust to help pay for those expenses to make sure that becoming a guardian to your kids does not include additional financial burdens.

Guardians for children with a life-long disability

For parents with children that will need help for the rest of their lives, planning for their life after you pass must include more than a simple parental guardian. Of course, a parental guardian will be needed if they are young, but if they are adults and still require care, you will need to plan for the payment of supportive services. This could be empowering a trustee to care for them, ensuring they have access to a Greensburg, Pennsylvania, group home network, etc. Of course, these are much more complicated estate plans that usually require the help of an attorney. But, to cut corners is likely to mean your child might fall through the cracks after you pass.