If you care for someone, whether it is a child (by birth or adoption), a family member or anyone else, you should include a guardian for these people in your estate plan. This is because, when you pass, if someone is not empowered to take over, they will become wards of Indiana. A random Indiana family law judge will dictate their fate.
The legal process where you empower someone to care for your children when you cannot is called guardianship, conservatorship or tutor. It could also be to care for other family members, like your elderly family members, if you were already their guardian. You can even set up a guardian for your pets.
Once they step into your shoes as the new legal guardian, they will assume all the same responsibilities you had for your loved ones. This includes making medical, education, food, housing and all other basic decisions for them.
Specific task assignments
Sometimes, empowering one person with all of the responsibilities of a guardian is too much. This is why you can split responsibilities between making financial and personal decisions. In other words, you can appoint one guardian to care for the person’s personal needs, and another who takes care of their financial needs and cares for their finances.
Commonly, a Mooresville, Indiana, attorney or other trusted third party is used to care for your loved one’s financial needs. They take care of paying bills, making investment decisions and control when funds are used. On the other hand, a family member or close friend will care for your loved one’s day-to-day needs.
The takeaway for our Mooresville, Indiana, readers is that, if you care for someone now, they will still need care if you pass. And, you need to figure out who that will be now, before something happens. It may be uncomfortable, but we owe it to our loved ones.