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As a parent, you have contemplated the possibility of your future incapacity or untimely death and named a legal guardian in your estate plan for your minor children. This legal guardian, the guardian of the person, will take responsibility for the care and upbringing of your children, and all parenting decisions.

But what if the guardian of the person you appointed does not have sound finance and money management skills? If you are leaving a significant amount of money or other assets to minor children, you want to see that the assets are maintained and monitored appropriately upon your death. In Tennessee, children cannot take control of any money or assets they stand to inherit until they are 18 years old.

A guardian of the estate is responsible for managing your children’s financial well-being should you die, including any assets left in the children’s name.

Protect your child’s financial future

The guardian of the estate carries a high degree of responsibility. This person must be frugal and conservative and treat the estate with more caution than they would their own. The primary responsibilities of the guardian of the estate include:

  • Managing the minor’s property
  • Preparing and filing income tax returns
  • Making prudent and responsible investments
  • Paying for the minor’s health and education expenses
  • Recording all income disbursements of the minor’s funds
  • Filing annual financial and accounting reports with the court

A guardian of the estate will preserve, manage and allocate the estate according to the law. If a guardian of the estate is not appointed, the state of Tennessee may have to court-appoint guardianship to manage and supervise your children’s estate.

Selecting a guardianship for your children is no small matter or easy decision. You can protect your child’s inheritance by naming someone as the guardian of the estate who will manage the funds until the child reaches the age of entitlement.