A Probate Lawyer Can Help Set Up Guardianship in a Will

Drawing up a will is one of the most important things you can do right now to protect your family and property. Sitting down with a probate lawyer will provide you with guidance surrounding the disposal of property after your death, end-of-life preferences, and other matters pertaining to yourself, your estate, and immediate family members.

One of the most important matters you should discuss with an estate planning attorney in Las Vegas is what’s going to happen to any minor children or dependent adults in the event that something happens to you.

In short, you need to name a guardian.

What Does Guardianship Mean?

In most circumstances, guardianship is a legal designation that determines who will raise your minor children if you and your spouse are unable to take care of them. Usually, this is in the event of your death or incapacitation.

However, you can name a medical or financial guardian to make decisions about care in the event that you become disabled or otherwise incapacitated. You should also appoint a guardian to care for elderly family members if you pass or children who will be unable to function themselves as adults due to disability or incapacitation.

Naming a Legal Guardian in Nevada

Like most legal matters, establishing legal guardianship in Las Vegas or the surrounding communities can be as simple as it is complex. It isn’t something you should do casually or leave for the courts to decide in an emergency.

Formal, legal guardianship is necessary because documentation will be required for everything from scheduling yearly checkups for your kids to registration or signing a permission slip for school.

In broad legal terms, there are two types of guardianship.

Guardianship of Your Estate

Those who have a large estate or complex financial details will need someone to manage these in the event that they’re unable to make decisions. However, in some cases, this can be taken care of with a conservatorship.

Conservatorships are a little different than guardianship. Both can be appointed by the courts. But, conservatorships are normally established by a biological relative to manage the affairs of a child or adult who’s unable to make decisions or manage daily life on their own while the person creating the conservatorship is still alive.

Guardianship of a Person

Knowing who will take care of your minor children or dependent adults will bring you and all of the people in your life some peace of mind. A guardian is established by a parent or the courts to care for a child or disabled adult after the parent’s death. Guardians can also be named to care for pets.

Within the legalities of guardianship of persons, there are also variations., The needs and arrangements for a minor child will be different than those of a disabled adult, your pet, or a senior. Some of these will only cover financial matters and housing, while others will detail everything from schooling to medical care.

In addition to determining guardianship over your estate and dependent people, there are different degrees of guardianship.

Full Guardianship

Someone with full guardianship will also inherit full responsibility for the person(s) or entity named in the legal document. That includes medical decisions, living arrangements, and future plans for schooling. This is usually the arrangement made for minor children and dependent adults.

Joint Guardianship

This is a designation for when you want to name two or more persons as guardians. For example, siblings could have joint guardianship of the minor child of their brother or cousins could share guardianship of an elderly or disabled relative.

Limited Guardianship

Limited guardianships determine who will be responsible for specific facets of a dependent person’s life. For example, an adult could be capable of living independently, but need assistance with medical or financial decisions.

Although legal tactics, procedures, and filing requirements are basically the same, each situation and family is different. Your probate attorney will provide you with details according to your own unique circumstances and goals.

Considerations Before Naming a Guardian

You should be very careful when choosing a guardian. You’re unlikely to be there to change the legal designation later.

Many people will name a sibling or their parents to care for minor children, but your guardian should be whomever you feel most capable to make important life decisions and manage day-to-day care.

When considering a list of possibilities, take into account whether that person or persons are willing to take on the responsibility and capable of doing so, financially, emotionally, and practically

Another consideration is location. Are they close enough to take charge in the event of an unforeseen event?

Are they of age and healthy enough to take on the responsibility of raising your children or taking care of a disabled adult? Many times, you’ll decide on a guardian after your child is born. If something happens to you shortly after, the guardian may be responsible for their care and well-being for the next 18 years or more.

Does the potential guardian have children of their own? Will your children feel comfortable living with them? More importantly, they should feel comfortable raising their children and ready to care for them as if they were their own.

In the case of naming a couple or a person who is married as guardian, their spouse’s mental or emotional readiness and willingness are also important. You could name your cousin or best friend as guardian, but how does their spouse fit into the picture? Is their home set up for children or will they be coming to live in your home?

It’s also important that the proposed guardian is financially stable themselves. They don’t need to be independently wealthy, but a person who’s in financial need could take away from any money you leave to provide for your dependents.

When to Name a Guardian

Ideally, you should create a will as soon as you’re a legal adult. Even if you don’t yet have a spouse, business, property, or children, you still need to let someone know your final wishes.

Your will should be updated whenever your life situation undergoes a major change, such as marriage, divorce, death of a spouse, birth or adoption of a child, child disability, diagnosis of a condition that leads to death or disability, or if an elderly parent or sibling becomes disabled and left in your care.

Updating should also occur if the life circumstances or willingness of the original legal guardian named in your will changes.

How to Find a Probate Lawyer in Las Vegas

No one wants to think about what happens after they die. However, the kindest thing you can do for your family now is to see to their well-being when you’re gone. Talking to an experienced probate attorney in Las Vegas will provide you with options and peace of mind.

It’s not something your should leave to your accountant or your cousin who’s a criminal lawyer. After all, you wouldn’t go to a heart specialist about your broken ankle.

You can locate an estate planning attorney by getting recommendations from friends or family or by searching online for probate or estate planning attorneys in your local area.

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