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Estate Planning Newsletter

  • Inter Vivos Trusts
    Unlike a will or some other types of trusts, which take effect upon the death of their creator, a “living trust” or “inter vivos trust” comes into effect during its creator’s lifetime. The creator of a... Read more.
  • Distributing the Assets of Missing Persons
    When an individual dies, their estate must be administered and distributed according to their previously established estate plan (if the decedent executed an estate plan prior to their death) or state intestate succession laws (if the... Read more.
  • Estate Tax Valuation Methods for Securities
    In 2001, Congress passed legislation incrementally increasing the amount exempt from federal estate taxes and completely eliminating estate taxes in the year 2010. However, the legislation contains a “sunset” provision... Read more.
  • Federal Estate Taxation and "Special Use" Valuation of Certain Properties
    Calculation of the Value of Estate Assets Estate taxes are calculated based upon the value of the assets in the estate. One duty of the executor or administrator is to inventory all estate assets and assign a... Read more.
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Definition of a Guardianship

In certain cases, a minor may need to be assigned a legal guardian either because a parent is not able to care for the minor, or because the existing guardian is not competent. When a guardian is appointed, he/she will have the same custodial rights as the minor's parent.

Guardians are appointed by a court, upon application or nomination and approval, or the court may select and appoint an appropriate guardian at its discretion.

Types of Guardians

Guardian of the person:

  • Provides or arranges for the minor's residence
  • Arranges for medical treatment for the minor

Guardian of the estate:

  • Manages the minor's property
  • Invests the minor's money
  • Provides financial support and educational opportunities to the minor

Guardian of the person and estate

  • Has the combined powers of the above 2 types of guardians (custody and management of property)

Guardian of specific property:

  • Cares for certain item(s) of property belonging to the minor

Guardian ad Litem:

  • Appointed for limited, short-term purpose of prosecuting or defending a legal proceeding on behalf of the minor

Guardianship Not Permitted

  • A minor cannot have a guardian if he/she is married or has been married
  • If the minor has been married but cannot care for himself/herself, a conservator may be appointed

Termination

A guardianship will end upon the occurrence of one of the following:

  • The minor dies
  • The minor becomes 18 years old
  • The guardian dies
  • Resignation or removal of the guardian
  • A court order terminating the guardianship
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