Search Site

Young Children & Estate Planning – Naming a Legal Guardian

Today, Your Legal Corner will discuss “Young children and estate planning.”

Just as the birth of a child is one of the best reasons to create a will, the death of the child’s parents is another. It is not a pleasant thought to think of both parents passing at the same time. However, it is a very real circumstance that should be addressed when you have minor children.

Did you know if you and your spouse die at the same time, without a will, whoever is appointed as administrator of the estate designates the person to manage your child’s inheritance? Additionally, the administrator will provide the information as to who will care for your child through a proceeding known as a legal guardianship.

There are two types of guardianships to consider: guardianship of the property and guardianship of the person. You may choose one person to serve as both, a couple to serve jointly or a different person for each.

Legal Guardian

A Guardian of the Property is granted the power to make all financial decisions regarding the child. When there is more than one child, the same guardian may serve for all. Alternatively, in blended families, second marriages or other special circumstances, discuss with your attorney the possibility of separate guardianships for each child.

A Guardian of the Person is granted the authority to decide day to day decisions concerning the care of the child. Issues typically addressed include where the child will reside, attend school, activities the child will participate in, healthcare and overall day to day living.

When naming a guardian in your will, you are able to elect the person or persons that you wish to serve as guardian in the event both of you die. A guardian who is appointed through a will does not have to normally endure a court proceeding. Usually, only the signature of the guardian is required for the County Surrogate Office.

Selection of a Legal Guardian

Discuss with your spouse who should be the legal guardian for your child or children. The following factors should guide your discussions. The named legal guardian is over age 18 and committed to serve. The legal guardian also shares the family’s values and has an existing positive relationship with your child or children.

Further, keep a journal of your child’s likes and dislikes. If your child requires special care, notes as to doctors, facilities, friends, programs and specifically what is needed in order to maintain some form of continuity should be documented.

Remember, plan who will care for your child when you are not able to. Consult with an attorney for added peace of mind.

Till next week, God bless, keep smiling, when Your Legal Corner will discuss “Helping others as an organ donor.”

Victoria M. Dalton is an attorney with the law firm of Hoffman DiMuzio.

For questions contact Victoria at and be sure to Like us on Facebook!

Please note: Your Legal Corner was created to provide educational articles about the law and is not legal advice!

Speak to a proven New Jersey attorney now
Call 856.238.5183 or click to schedule your consultation
  • 5-Star Review

    Posted On

    "We came to the office upset, concerned and profoundly unsure of what to do. Mr. Hoffman sat with us, explained options, reassured us and told us he would be there for us. He more than delivered on that commitment. If you are considering a legal firm, go no further, Hoffman-DiMuzio needs to be your choice."

  • 5-Star Review

    Posted On

    " Joe Hoffman is amazing. We cannot say enough about how well we were treated from the moment we sat down until the positive resolution! Stellar customer experience!"

  • 5-Star Review

    By Renee Zagarella

    "Wonderful, knowledgeable, kind, and informative! Within days following my free consultation, I was provided with an overview of my appointment with helpful information about my case. I truly appreciate the recommendation I was given at this firm."

  • 5-Star Review

    By Anita Campana

    "I was so very impressed with Hoffman DiMuzio from the moment I walked in. Everyone I had come across was so professional and courteous."

  • 5-Star Review

    By Mike W

    "Hoffman DiMuzio is a top notch firm. Their attorneys and staff are extremely knowledgeable and go above and beyond for you. I recommend them to everyone in need of legal service."

  • 5-Star Review

    By Harry McCormick

    When my significant other was falsely accused of committing a crime, there was only one place to turn. that place was hoffman dimuzio.

  • 5-Star Review

    Posted On Google

    "Joe Hoffman Jr took on our case and fought tooth and nail for us. Exposing the truth and serving justice for us, we felt completely vindicated. For any legal matter, criminal, traffic or otherwise, they gained two very satisfied life long customers! Thank you Mr Hoffman!"

Joseph J.  Hoffman, Jr. Attorney Photo
Joseph J. Hoffman, Jr.
Senior Partner

For more than 40 years, Mr. Hoffman has protected the interest of his clients through diligence and hard work on legal matters, both large and small. An honors graduate of Rutgers University Law School and a native of Gloucester County, Mr. Hoffman has won numerous accolades for excellence in the practice of law.

Kenneth A. DiMuzio, Sr. Attorney Photo
Kenneth A. DiMuzio, Sr.
Senior Partner

An attorney with over 45 years of professional experience, Mr. DiMuzio concentrates his practice on personal injury and workers’ compensation matters. A graduate of Georgetown University Law School and a native of Gloucester County, Mr. DiMuzio has been honored time and again for his professionalism and ethics in the practice of law.

Ernest L.  Alvino, Jr. Attorney Photo
Ernest L. Alvino, Jr.

Ernest L. Alvino, Jr. About Ernest L. Alvino, Jr. concentrates his practice in the area of workplace injuries; construction accidents; product injuries; trucking accidents; auto injuries; medical negligence and crime victim advocacy. Ernie is a lifelong Gloucester County resident, living in Mullica Hill with his wife and children. Ernie worked his way through school as…

Anooshay Asim Attorney Photo
Anooshay Asim

About Anooshay Asim Ms. Anooshay Asim is a family law attorney with The Law Offices of Hoffman DiMuzio. Her practice is focused on divorce and child custody matters. Prior to joining Hoffman DiMuzio, Ms. Asim was an avid traveler and had even lived in numerous cities across the United States as well as internationally. Her…

Jeremiah J. Atkins Attorney Photo
Jeremiah J. Atkins

Jeremiah J. Atkins About Mr. Atkins joined the firm of Hoffman DiMuzio in February 2010. Mr. Atkins’ practice covers a wide variety of employment-related matters before New Jersey State and Federal courts and administrative agencies, with a focus on discrimination, retaliation, sexual harassment, family leave and whistleblowing claims. Mr. Atkins also regularly represents the interests…

  • Imagine... One law firm, for life.

    New Jersey attorneys for all legal matters

    For all life's stages. For all South Jersey.

Six convenient locations

We'll meet at the office nearest you

  • Franklinville
    Lawyers Near Franklinville
  • Turnersville
    Lawyers Near Turnersville
  • Mullica Hill
    Lawyers Near Mullica Hill
  • Woodbury
    Lawyers Near Woodbury
  • Sewell
    Lawyers Near Sewell
  • Philadelphia
    Philadelphia Office
  • AV Preeminent
    Top Attorneys NJ
    Best Lawyer Award
    Best Trial Lawyers
  • AV Preeminent
  • Best Attorneys NJ
  • Best Lawyer Award
  • Best Trial Lawyers
Take action now by filling out the form below

Submitting this form does not create an attorney-client relationship, but a lawyer from our firm will contact you as soon as possible.

Quick Contact Form