Should you leave money to the guardian of your children?

On Behalf of | Sep 1, 2021 | Estate Planning

In getting every detail complete in your will, you make sure that you and your spouse name the right person as the legal guardian of your minor children. You talk it over with prospective candidates, look at their lifestyles, values and financial positions in making your decision.

Then you wonder: Do I need to set aside money for a legal guardian? It is a good gesture to do so. When a person is suddenly thrust into a guardianship role, his or her life significantly changes. Household and education expenses may increase, and they may even have to consider an extensive remodel to his or her home. In your will, how much money should you provide the guardian?

Many factors play into decision

You must understand that a legal guardian is not required to provide financial support to a minor. However, if a testamentary trust exists within your will, the trustee will distribute money to the guardian to support the minor children.

So, within your will, how much money should you leave the guardian? There really is no set amount. In making your decision, you need to consider many factors, including the ages and needs of your children along with the expected financial challenges the guardian faces.

In certain situations – even if you may have a medium-sized estate, you may not need to bequeath any money to the guardian. There already may be enough. Depending on other circumstances, $20,000 might be enough. However, for some, that amount might fall short.

Could it be $50,000? Or even $100,000? In many situations, new parents are so early in their careers that they may not even have that much money in their estate.

When considering leaving money to your child’s legal guardian, understand that those funds may be used for:

  • Children’s health-related expenses
  • Children’s education expenses
  • Child support for basic needs such as food and clothing
  • Housing renovations and vehicle-related expenses

Determining whether to leave money to your child’s legal guardian remains an important point to ponder. Take many things into consideration, and make sure that – if you have a trust – the trustee and guardian work together for the benefit of your children.