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Should guardians be used in my estate plan?

On Behalf of | Sep 12, 2022 | Estate Planning |

Nevada residents who plan their estates later in life may not think you need a guardian. Though, if you have a disabled adult child, then you will likely need an estate plan. For those earlier in life, you may need a guardian for both your kids and an elderly parent or family member. Anytime, you are entrusted with another’s life and well-being, you need to include a guardian in your estate plan. Though, arguably, it may be wise to include one, just in case you or your spouse need one later in life.

Guardianship, generally

For context, a guardian is someone that steps into your shoes, should you die or become incapacitated. It is a legal process that is filed with the family law court. After the judge accepts the guardianship designation, that person, known as the guardian, conservator or tutor assumes some level of care responsibility. This can be total, or it can be limited to financial needs, health needs, etc.

Selecting guardians

Yes, guardians, not just a guardian. Remember, anything can happen between the time you plan and the time a guardian is actually needed. Even if you update your plan periodically, your designated guardian may change their mind when it is actually time.

How to select a guardian

The selection process should be aided by your attorney, but the ultimately, the final designations are done by you (and your spouse). How you select them should be based not only who you want to be the guardian, but also on who agrees to be a guardian. This means that your guardian should never be surprised by their selection as a guardian. It should be expected when you pass.

As to the person you choose, pick the person that is most like you. They should be responsible, dependable and have an existing relationship with whoever they will become guardian over. Remember, this will only happen after you pass or become incapacitated, which will be an extremely emotional time for everyone. Having a familiar face as their new guardian will help make that transition smoother.