Financial guardian for your child- A must in today’s uncertain times!!

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Nobody likes to consider their mortality, but having dependents especially minor children makes you think about the future. Most of us hold a life insurance policy which would take care of our dependents incase of any unfortunate event. One can only wish that whatever is left behind should be used in the best way to fulfil his dependents goals. However once the person is gone he/she will not be aware of how this money will be used for the betterment of their dependents especially their minor children. If either of the parents survives there is less to worry about, but incase of demise of both a lot of questions arise. Who will take care of the minor?  A minor is any one below the age of 18. In this situation a financial guardian plays a very essential role that will take care of the finances as the child is too young.

 

A financial guardian is a person who is legally appointed by the parents for the welfare of their children who are minor, incase of death or incapability. Guardianship is a huge responsibility as it is a long term job. A guardian not only takes care of the finances but is also responsible for the upbringing of your child in your absence. Incase one fails to appoint a financial guardian the Court may do the same but this person may not be the one you would wish to take care of your children. Thus appointing a financial guardian is very essential as it may cost the wellbeing and future of your child if you fail to do so.


A guardian is responsible for the daily and long term care and welfare of your child and for making important lifestyle decisions on their behalf. Thus the decision of who will be the financial guardian of your children should be taken with lot of thinking and maturity. One should consider their family, friends or acquaintances as potential guardians. Once you have decided the name of the guardian it is very important to ask the potential guardian whether he/she is ready to take the responsibility. The potential guardian should have the rights to say NO incase he/ she considers oneself not capable for the same. Also if one is not aware and later disagrees to be a guardian, it will cause problem for the children. If the kids are mature enough, you can discuss the matter with them and ask for their inputs and choice. Agreement of both the parents is a must.


One should mention in the Will who he/she would like to appoint as the guardian for their children. If the father dies the mother is there to take care of the children & vice versa. However incase of the demise of both or any disability, the financial guardian gets the responsibility. One may mention in the Will in detail how the assets of your estate should be used for the welfare of your children by the guardian. One can also mention about their preferences for education, religion, lifestyle, and other important issues. A trust can be established for your children and the guardian will ask the trustee for the financial needs of the children. Once the child has reached a certain age or is a major, the trustee may decide to pay funds directly to the child and till then make payments to the guardian. Incase one dies without a will and fail to designate a guardian, the courts will decide who takes care for your minor children. The decision may be less than ideal. The court does not know you or your children, your lifestyle, your family and can't have an understanding of your wishes.


It is very essential to review your choice of guardian every year. As you may realize that the person you originally selected to serve as the guardian is no longer the right choice or is no longer willing to take the responsibility or you lost touch with the person five years after drafting your will. As a parent one wishes to give the best possible to your children, thus with some careful planning, you can give that protection to them and hope your children never face any stress at a young age especially if the parents are no more or incapable.

 

By Namrata Shah.

The writer is working with FpGuru.com as a Financial planner.


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