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Dorothea J. Kingsbury Estate Planning & Probate Attorney

Guardianships for children when the unthinkable happens

One of the most difficult parts of estate planning for parents is trying to decide the best interests of one's minor children in the event of a tragedy. Single parents may feel the burden of this possibility more than others, but all Ohio parents eventually realize that there are no guarantees in life, and there is always the chance that their children could be left without parents. While this heartache is nothing to dwell on, it is definitely something for which to prepare through careful estate planning and designating trusted people to guardianships.

Guardianship may be divided into two main duties: caring for the child and protecting the child's assets. These may be the same person, but if not, the two ideally work closely together to ensure the child's best interests are always considered. Both guardians report to the court before making major decisions on the child's behalf, and usually they make a final report to the court regarding the state of the child's finances and assets when the child reaches the age of majority and the guardianship ends.

While the physical guardian of the child should be someone who has great compassion and perhaps a similar parenting style, the guardian of the assets must be capable of managing and investing the child's inheritance with the utmost integrity. It may be necessary for the guardian to sell some of the child's inherited assets, such as the family home, to ensure there are funds for health care, education and the daily needs of the child. If the child is left with substantial assets, the guardian may invest them for the child's future.

Naming a guardian is not always easy, but without a nomination, the court will appoint someone. Ohio parents with questions about guardianships can certainly contact an attorney for guidance. Additionally, those placed in the position of guardian for a minor child, an elderly person or someone with a disability may receive sound advice and assistance through a compassionate attorney.

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I am attorney Dorothea J. Kingsbury. I provide good advice and real solutions to challenging problems. I can help you choose and personalize estate planning instruments that meet your family's present and future needs. I can develop elder law strategies that ensure proper care for your loved ones. I can guide you through the probate/estate administration process when a family member has passed away. I can help make sure your interests are protected during your real estate transaction. I am here to make things easier.

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