Two of the most important things you can do for your minor children are to decide who will care for them and who will manage their finances in the event that something unexpectedly happens to you.
These can be sad things to think about, but they are imperative in protecting your child’s future. Choosing the right guardian means finding someone who will care for them as closely to the way you do, while making sure that your child will be comfortable and happy in their new surroundings. Deciding on the right person to handle your child’s finances (whether it be the guardian or someone else) will ensure that your child has the funds he or she needs to finish school and cover other living expenses.
But the Orange County wills and trust lawyers at Morgan Law Group also want to encourage parents to write out exactly what is expected of the guardian when it comes to raising their child. Often called a Testamentary Letter, it can give specific guidelines to the guardian on your wishes when it comes to the following issues:
- The religion you want your child to practice
- Preferences for where you want your child to be enrolled in school
- The type of morals and values you want to be instilled in your child
- Rules about coming-of-age decisions, including dating, choice of friends or curfews
- Guidelines and rules regarding possessions you leave behind once the child is old enough to use them (jewellery, cars, etc.)
- Kind words of wisdom or love that you want the child to hear as they grow older
Remember that although the wishes spelled out in a Testamentary Letter are non-binding, the instructions contained in it can help your guardian to raise your child as you would when faced with decisions that fall outside of what’s contained in your will.
For more information on how to prepare your Last Will and Testament to properly benefit your child, contact our Newport Beach estate planning law firm at (949) 260-1400 and ask to schedule a Family Wealth Planning Session.