The Importance of a Guardianship

Charleston Estate Planning | GuardianshipOne of the most important steps in estate planning for a family with children would be the decision of guardianship. Although the probability that both parents should pass away may be low, the risks are steep. In the event that no guardianship has been determined, children under the age of 18 will have their guardian appointed by a judge  who may not consider the wants of the parents. The inclusion of a guardian in the will is also a quite simple and inexpensive process. Our Charleston estate planning attorneys offer legal counsel for families in the selection of a guardianship.

Deciding Guardianship

The selection of guardian may be the most difficult part in the process of legally appointing a guardian. Some important factors to weigh in this process may be:

  • Parenting styles, experience and religious views
  • Proximity to previous and future schools
  • Economic means and time availability to raise other children
  • Age and health of the guardian
  • Child’s comfort level
  • Guardian’s comfort level
Because raising a child can be expensive, many parents choose to establish a children’s trust in their will to reduce the economic burden on the guardian. A children’s trust can also create provisions to ensure that the money stays with the child and contributes only to their upbringing, health and comfort. Some parents may also wish to create a letter of instruction to clarify expectations and hopes for the upbringing of their children.

The decision of guardianship is one the most fundamental estate planning choices when planning for the future of any family with children. Our Charleston estate planning attorneys are committed to providing legal representation for the determination and appointment of a legal guardian for South Carolina parents should a sudden or unexpected tragedy occur.