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Guardians at the Estate Planning Gates

When children are young and parents have fewer assets, choosing a guardian for your children means finding a family where your values are shared and located where you want your children to live.

With older children, consideration of their wishes comes into play when choosing a guardian. Choices about where they want to live and personality conflicts are taken into account.

There are also the financial aspects of the guardian’s role which often include a trust for the benefit of the children. With a testamentary trust, parents can stipulate an age when each child can have control over his trust assets. Age 25 or 30 is typical. It is also common to see a staggered distribution of assets such as one-third at ages 25, 30 and 35 and including trustee authority to spend assets for the benefit of the children, such as on college, prior to these distributions at ages 25, 30 and 35.

Contact an estate planning law firm for further information.