Providing for Minor Children

If you have minor children, your estate plan must address who will care for you minor children and who will provide the financial support for your minor children.

You should give careful thought to your choice of a guardian for your children.  The guardian is the person who will be caring for and raising your children.  Thus, it is extremely important that the guardian shares your values and has the necessary child-rearing skills.

In regard to who will provide the financial support for your children, you have two choices.  A guardian can be appointed to handle the financial affairs or a trust can be established for the benefit of your minor children.

In most cases, the creation of a trust for the benefit of the minor children is preferable.  By using a trust, the age or ages at which the assets will be released to the children can be specified.  This allows the children to become more mature and less likely to use the funds imprudently.

If, however, the parents of the children are still married or are still in a relationship and both are financially stable, one might consider having the surviving parent manage the assets as guardian of the assets, as well as guardian of the children.