“Information Bits from the Boss: Samantha provides brief answers to clients frequently asked questions”
What if I have minor children?
I have two answers for that. The first one is your going to address it in your last will and testament. If your married for example and your partner is the parent of the child, what the will is going to say is “If something would happen to the both of you, who would you want to be the guardian of that child?” If it’s something where you aren’t married but they are still the surviving parent, it would be if something happens to the surviving parent or if you are the last of the surviving parent and you pass away who would you want as the guardian of the child. The guardian is the person who physically is responsible for the child or the children so that means where would they be living, who’s house are they going to be living at. Then in the will you can also name a custodian. The custodian is in charge of the money. You can actually have that be someone different then who is physically responsible for the child. You can have the custodian be someone different or you can have it be the same individual as the guardian. Again, the custodian is who is in charge of the money, where the guardian is who is in charge of the actual physical child, the well being of that child. In Pennsylvania we do have the UTMA (Uniform Transfers to Minor Act) which means that your allowed to say that you want a custodian named for that child until age 25. You can stop at 18 if you want. You can pick any age between 18 and 25, but the limit is 25 in the will. If you want it to be above age 25, then you will need to look at other ways to provide. The second way to provide for minor children is the standby guardianship form. If you and the other parent would be out of town and the underage children are staying with someone who is different then the person you are naming permanently in your will to be the guardian and custodian, you can execute a standby guardianship form. Again, you just fill it out if you are going to be out of town a limited period of time so that individual can have the ability to do what they need to be able to care for your child. For additional information or to schedule a free initial consultation please contact our office at (717) 655-2676.