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Making the Argument
The Hard Truth: Guardianship of Minors Is a Serious Issue - Plan Wisely
By Michelle Fulton
August 16, 2004
The guardianship series of three articles is being rerun for our new readers.
The information in this column is not intended as legal advice but to provide a general understanding of the law. Any readers with legal problems, including those whose questions are addressed here, should consult attorneys for advice on their particular circumstances.
Q: What is the best way to appoint a guardian or set of guardians for our minor children in the event that something happens to us? How can we guarantee that our children are well taken care of?
A: If you read last weekís article, then you read about the reasons why it is crucial to appoint guardians for your minor in your will in case something catastrophic occurs.
Now, letís discuss the best ways to do that. The two most popular ways in which you can designate a guardian for your children are to either designate them in your will, or to execute a Designation of Guardian for Minor Children.
It is best to have this done by an attorney who has experience in Estate Planning.
Itís a very simple process- you simply tell your attorney who you want to have physical custody of the children, and who you want to have control over the money, and the attorney will draw up the papers, go over them with you, and them have you execute them. Thatís the easy part.
Now, hereís the hard part- who do you choose?
This causes a great deal of friction in some homes where each spouse has the issues of family loyalty. So, in order to help the process along, here are some points to consider when selecting your guardians.
Bottom line: Choosing a guardian and trustee takes some careful thought and planning. Make sure you take your time and make choices that help you sleep better at night. Nothing is more important than the well-being of your children!
NEXT WEEK: How to avoid a family war when appointing guardians.
Michelle Fulton is an attorney at The Fulton Law Firm, PLLC. If you have a legal problem you would like her to address, you may e-mail your request to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail your request to her at 806 Hwy. 3 South, Houston, Texas 77058.
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