You are young and your family is growing. You might feel like your whole future is in front of you and your children. This might seem like an odd time to be thinking about an estate plan.

Having an estate plan that names a guardian is important. You need to understand how naming a guardian now can protect your children.

You do not want to think about the time when you are gone. There are important decisions that your minor children cannot make on their own. The guardians you name now in your estate plan can protect your family.

Guardians can protect your children’s physical and financial wellbeing

There are two types of guardianship in California. You can name one person for both roles or one for each role. You can name them in your estate plan, but they will be appointed by the court.

The person (or people) you name is important. The court will take your choice into consideration. The deciding factor is if the court agrees that the people you name will act in the best interests of your child.

The roles are:

  • Guardianship of the estate. The appointee will care for the child’s assets.
  • Guardianship of the person (physical custody). This person will provide for the child’s needs. That includes their clothing, education, food and shelter.

Naming a guardian is important

There are no certainties in life. This decision could protect your children, their inheritance and their future.

Your children are the most important people in your life. If something happens to you and you did not name guardians, the court will appoint them. If you do not name someone, you will not have any say in who assumes those roles.