When Parents With Underage Children Die: Guardianship Arrangements

Guardianship Arrangements

Securing your interests takes a lot of forward thinking. You may have to ask questions such as, “Who takes care of my assets when I’m gone or incapacitated?” Of course, sooner or later, you may have to think of ways to ensure a good future for your loved ones, most especially your family. After all, they are going to inherit your possessions, so it would do well to make sure that they will be taken care of in your absence.

One way to do so is by appointing a legal guardian for your children, in case you and your spouse pass away. Guardians are typically appointed to take care of orphaned minors or the old and infirm. In this case, in case of death or disability, your guardian can take over in overseeing the welfare of your children.

A guardianship is effective from the death of the donors or principals, until the children of said donors turn 18. In cases wherein the child/children become disabled, however, the tenure can be extended. The legal guardian will be responsible for the housing, welfare, education, and health of the children throughout the duration of the guardianship.

A popular example of an appointed legal guardian is Alfred Pennyworth, butler to the fictional Wayne family. Thomas Wayne had named Alfred as his son Bruce’s legal guardian in his will, and upon his and his wife Martha’s death, the butler took care of Bruce Wayne from his formative years to his adulthood—he even stood by his side as he took on the persona of Batman.

Your children may not necessarily become crime-fighting superheroes in the future, but by bestowing enduring powers of guardianship upon a trusted person, you can make sure that your children will be taken care of, even when you’re away.

To name your child’s guardian, you can appoint the person through your last will and testament. This is the easiest way of selecting a family caretaker; if no guardian is named in the will, individuals will have to apply for guardianship, subject to court review and approval.


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