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Who takes care of my children if I suddenly pass away?

On Behalf of | May 11, 2020 | Estate planning |

You have options in deciding who takes care of your children in the event of a sudden and unexpected death. If your spouse dies tragically along with you, the state of Texas may appoint a guardian over your children if no other plans or arrangements exist. 

Courts generally award custody of minor children to their grandparents when parents die. If you have a preference regarding who you would like your kids to reside with, you need to create a document stating who you wish to become your children’s legal guardian. You could name a parent, relative or any other individual. 

Trustees and legal guardians 

When executing an estate plan, careful preparation usually goes into detailing how your assets pass to your heirs through a will or trust. You may decide to transfer your property to a trust and then designate an individual to act as its trustee and manage it. 

Your trustee could use your property to generate income for your children. In certain arrangements, a trustee can also serve as a child’s guardian. If you do not choose this option, you may need to authorize another individual who can act as the guardian of your estate. 

Guardian of the estate 

As noted by U.S. News & World Report, the guardian of your estate manages your minor children’s financial affairs. He or she ensures your funds provide the means for your children’s living expenses. You may leave special instructions describing how and where you prefer the guardian to spend estate funds. 

Guardian of the person 

Your plan may name a guardian of the person to care for your children. Unlike a guardian who manages your children’s finances, this individual has the authority to act as a substitute parent. He or she ensures meeting your children’s personal needs, such as housing, health care and education.