Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Name One, Get Two

When Ray and Liz chose guardians to name in their Wills for young Rose and Sam, they named one person at a time even though some of those people are now married.  This provides clearer direction for the probate court and minimizes the likelihood the children could be involved in any future conflict due to deaths, divorces or remarriages of any of the couples.

They also authorized the named guardian to designate their spouse to serve as co-guardian so long as the named guardian is serving, but they did not specify the spouse’s name. 

The court’s option to appoint the named guardian’s spouse to serve as co-guardian if requested could be important to Rose and Sam. 

For example, children often receive their health care insurance coverage through a parent’s employer.  Some employers allow other children living full time with an employee to also be eligible for coverage, but that eligibility can be limited to children for whom the employee has been appointed guardian by a court. 

So it might be essential that the half of the couple whose employment has health insurance available also be a formally appointed guardian. 

Plus, if Rose or Sam were seriously hurt while the guardian is traveling or is otherwise unavailable, it may be important that the named guardian’s spouse can directly consult and consent to medical treatment for them. 

For assistance considering your own estate planning choices, including how to name a guardian, please call our office at (815) 436-1996 for an appointment. 

©2015 Gruber Law Office, Ltd.

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