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The fundamental elements of guardianship provisions

On Behalf of | Sep 14, 2023 | Estate Planning

One of the most important elements of a comprehensive estate plan is the guardianship provision for your children. Appointing someone to care for your children after your death is a big decision. When you finally make a choice, you need to draft a guardianship provision that not only identifies your selected guardian but also covers a few other important details.

There are a few things every guardianship provision should include.

Identification information

The first section of your guardianship documents should identify your selected guardian, including their name, full address, phone number and any other contact information. The more details you provide, the easier it is for the court to locate them.


Although you have no obligation to explain the reason for your selection, adding an explanation can help the court assess the situation. Your explanation should include not only your thought process but also the relationship between your appointed guardian and the children.

Alternative guardian

If, for any reason, the guardian you selected cannot serve in the role, you should appoint an alternative. It is ideal to have at least one alternative, if not more. Provide as much contact information as possible for each alternative guardian as well.

Clear expectations

State specifically that you appoint them to serve as legal and physical guardians for your child. Detail any preferences for handling financial affairs, including inheritance or trust funds. Explain their role in educational and healthcare decisions as well as your desire for your child’s cultural and religious education.

The U.S. Census Bureau’s 2019 report about children’s living arrangements indicates that roughly 2% of children in the U.S. live with someone other than their parents or grandparents. Ensure that your child lives with someone you trust with a guardianship provision in your estate plan. Please contact our law firm for more information.