Parents with minor children often include in their Wills testamentary trusts to provide for the children should both parents die.


Parents with minor children will typically also identify guardians for their children should they both die. The designated guardian would be expected to physically provide for the children by providing a home, food, care, guidance and discipline, and all of the other attributes of parenthood


A question will often arise as to whether the trustee or trustees and the guardian or guardians should be the same person or people. If the guardian is also the trustee, the guardian then has access to the trust assets to spend for the needs of the children. If the trustee is someone other than the guardian, then the guardian must ask the trustee for funds to care for the children. Parents must decide whether they want to simplify the process by making the guardian and trustee the same person or whether they want a form of checks and balances by placing control of the trust assets in the hands of someone other than the guardian. Parents should give serious thought to this decision. Do they have a sufficient degree of confidence in the guardian that they do not think the guardian as trustee would misuse the funds, or do they want someone other than the guardian holding the purse strings?


Please contact Jerry Devitt at 303-384-9228 to discuss any of your legal needs regarding Wills and Estate Planning.