Appointing a Guardian for Your Minor Children
As a parent, you want to make sure that your children are always taken care of, which means considering who they will live with and who will manage their assets if you pass away.
The legal term “guardian” refers to the person who assumes responsibility for the care and custody of a minor child when there is no parent who can do so. This is the person who steps in to fill the parental role. The child lives with the guardian and the guardian is the one who attends to the child’s day to day needs just like a parent would.
When a child finds themselves without a parent to care for them, a Colorado court will appoint a guardian. Ultimately the court will appoint a child’s guardian based on the best interests of the child. However, considerable weight is given to a deceased parent’s wishes when making this determination. Typically, parents of minor children will appoint a guardian in their will or by separate document. Therefore, it is important for anyone with children under the age of 18 to have an estate plan so that they have a say in who will care for their children should they pass away or become incapacitated.
There are so many personal considerations that go along with appointing a guardian. I am committed to listening to your questions and concerns so that you can appoint the best possible person to serve as a guardian for your children. Schedule your consultation with me, Keenan Copple, at (303) 819-6415 or reach out to me online.
Conservators and Trustees:
Parents should also consider who will manage their minor children’s assets if that becomes necessary. If no one is designated in an estate plan, the court will have to hold proceedings to either determine that the guardian will manage the child’s assets or appoint a separate “conservator” to manage the minor child’s financial affairs. The other option for parents is to set up a trust for their children’s assets and appoint a “trustee” to manage the assets of the child. The trustee or conservator can be the same individual as the guardian or it can be a separate person or professional trust company.
An Estate Plan Empowers Parents:
Regardless of income or wealth, an estate plan is is powerful way to ensure your children are cared for no matter what happens to you. Having an estate plan that includes a guardianship appointment and a testamentary trust empowers parents to:
- Have a say in who your children will live with if you pass away
- Ensure that the money that your children inherit is managed wisely and used for purposes you choose
- Designate the age your children must obtain before receiving their inheritance outright
When you reach out to me, we will sit down during a confidential consultation and discuss your situation, your plans and wishes, and will review all of your legal options.
If you would like to know more about crafting a guardianship document in Denver, I am available to help. Since 2012, the Law Office of Keenan Copple, PC has provided strategic legal counsel for families just like yours, and I’ll be ready to help you understand your rights and options under Colorado law.
Call me, attorney Keenan Copple, at (303) 819-6415 or fill out a contact form to schedule a confidential consultation today.