Why We Do Guardian Designations for Your Minor Children Differently

Taking care of your children is a crucial piece of estate planning. Most people focus on the asset protection and management portion of their plan, but properly establishing guardianship for your minor children cannot be taken for granted.

People often do this by putting guardian designations in a will. We advise against this because a will does not take effect until after your death, meaning incapacity planning is not covered. You can cover this loophole by putting your nomination in a trust, but we believe guardianship for minor children is too important of a matter for it not to stand on its own in your plan.

Designation of Temporary Guardians and Permanent Guardians

At the Law Offices of Tyler Q. Dahl, we use a completely separate, standalone document titled the Designation of Temporary Guardians and Permanent Guardians. This ensures a clear and effective implementation of your guardian(s).

This document allows you to specify both temporary and permanent guardians. These can be the same person, but there are different needs to consider. A temporary guardian needs to be in the same city and easily accessible – they will step in on a moment’s notice should you become incapacitated or otherwise unavailable (including immediately after your death). A permanent guardian can be anyone in the U.S. who will take over the care of your minor children after the temporary guardian gets in contact with them and is able to transfer your children into the permanent guardian’s care (nominating someone outside of the U.S. is a bit complicated).

Failing to have either of these designations in place early puts your children at risk. If there is no designated guardian or surviving parent, a child could end up in the care of Child Protective Services (CPS) – which even for a short time, would be disastrous. 

Choosing the right person(s)

Most firms advocate for having a plan. We advocate for having the right plan – there is a distinct difference. A guardian is an important role that only the right people should be considered for. We work with you to pick the right person.

For a temporary guardian, some people even choose a family member or neighbor, or member of the community they trust dearly. This person would be more readily available and accessible than some other choices and will only have temporary duties to care for your children. A permanent guardian will have far more significant responsibilities, so we want you to dig deep into your list of loved ones to consider who you truly trust to take on the role of caretaker for your children.

Kids Protection Plan

All of this falls under our Kids Protection Plan. This program covers a far-reaching range of matters for your child including guardian designations, identification cards, and vital information about your children to pass on to any future caretakers.

Your chosen guardians will need to know who your child’s doctor is, what medications they need, what languages they speak/are learning, discipline theories, and other notes about how you want them to be raised. This plan allows you to be more in control even when you are no longer around to make decisions for your children.

For a comprehensive estate plan that includes all of this careful planning for your child, contact the Law Offices of Tyler Q. Dahl.

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Dahl Law Group

At Dahl Law Group, we’re not just a law firm. We’re your trusted advisor for your business and family from beginning to end. As your family and business grow, we will be there by your side. Our passion is providing you with peace of mind and protection through personalized estate and business planning.

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