Naming a Guardian for Children In Minneapolis
Protecting Your Loved Ones in Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Throughout Minnesota
Do you know what would happen to your children if you were to suddenly
be unable to communicate or pass away? Who would take care of them in
the short-term and long-term? Who would provide for their immediate needs?
Who would make any pressing decisions about their care?
Many people associate estate planning with wealth preservation and property
distribution. Estate planning encapsulates a variety of critical tools,
including those that can help parents protect their children.
Our experienced team of estate planning lawyers at Guttman Law can assist
you with all elements of child protection planning in Minneapolis. We
are familiar with how to effectively prepare for a wide range of scenarios
and outcomes and can help you address any concerns that you might have.
We also assist families with creating protection plans for young adults.
Give your children the plan that they deserve. Schedule a free initial
consultation by calling
(612) 324-4055 or
contacting us online.
Why You Need a Child Protection Plan in Minnesota
creating your estate plan, you will no doubt include provisions intended to provide for and protect
your children. Your
last will and testament gives you the opportunity to name a guardian that will care for your minor
children should you pass away. You can choose to name your child or children
as beneficiaries of assets in your will.
Trusts can also be designed to provide for your children throughout their lives,
including after they become legal adults.
Updating your estate plan to include your children in these estate planning tools is a good first
step, but they will not necessarily provide your children with complete
protection should the unthinkable occur. A strong child protection plan will need to thoroughly consider the realities
of what could happen if you suddenly became incapacitated or passed away.
Consider a scenario where you are abruptly no longer able to care for your
children. Though you formally named a guardian for your children in your
will, that guardian will need to ready their affairs and travel to Minnesota
before they can begin to care for them. In the meantime, without more
of a plan in place, your children will likely temporarily be placed with
Child Protective Services instead of a trusted loved one.
There is also the possibility that someone might object to your chosen
guardian and initiate a protracted and damaging court battle. A judge
will ultimately choose who will raise your children and may make a decision
that is inconsistent with your wishes.
How We Help Protect the Future of Your Children in Minnesota
Through proactive child protection planning in Minneapolis, we can help
address all of your children’s potential needs and work to avoid
unnecessary conflict or ambiguity should a crisis arise. Our planning
process involves listening to your concerns and helping you understand
the tools that are available to you.
In building your child protection plan, our attorneys can assist you with
First Responder and Temporary Guardian Designations. A will lets you name a guardian that is intended to take care of your
minor children until they become adults. A long-term guardian does not
account for what will happen to your children in the short-term. First
responder designations authorize trusted individuals to provide immediate
shelter and care to your children until your chosen temporary guardian
can arrive. A temporary guardian can continue to care for your children
until your permanent guardian selection is confirmed by the court. We
can assist you with nominating multiple first responders so that your
children have coverage in a variety of scenarios.
Instructions for Guardians and Caregivers. Guardians must be approved by a court, even if you appointed one for
your minor children in your will. Caregivers for your children can be
authorized without express court approval. The designation allows trusted
individuals to make decisions about a child’s educational and medical
needs. Authorizing at least one caregiver for your children can help create
a buffer if there is any issue in confirming your choice of guardian.
You should then consider providing clear written instructions for both
guardians and caregivers. These instructions should outline best practices
for caring for your children, any specific needs that will need to be
addressed, and any final wishes that you expect to be honored.
Powers of Attorney. Typically, parents will make decisions about their children’s medical
care. Should you become incapacitated or suddenly pass away, however,
there may be a period where your children do not yet have a confirmed
guardian but do have pressing medical needs. A power of attorney allows
an appointed agent to make decisions on a person’s behalf. Parents
can designate a medical power of attorney for their minor children. In
situations where you are unable to advocate for your minor children’s
medical needs, the appointed medical power of attorney can act on your behalf.
Letter of Fiduciary Duties for Short-Term and Long-Term Guardians. You will more than likely leave assets to your children that will need
to be carefully managed until they come of age. In assuming a short- or
long-term guardianship, your appointed guardian accepts responsibility
to honor the fiduciary duties owed to your children. Though it is unlawful
for a guardian to intentionally breach their fiduciary duties, you can
help guide their efforts through a letter that outlines and explains the
assets that they will be handling on behalf of your children and any instructions
for their management.
Confidential Exclusion of Guardians. Guardianship designations made in a will can be contested and could result
in your children being placed in the care of someone you do not believe
is fit. A confidential exclusion letter can allow you to identify one
or more individuals that you explicitly wish to be excluded from consideration
should there be any questions of who will assume guardianship of your
children. In this letter, you can identify why you believe the person
or persons are unfit. You can also execute the letter privately to avoid
any discomfort or embarrassment.