On several occasions this winter I was able to spend my work commute thinking about how my wife and I really need to get a Last Will and Testament. As I drove into work, the roads covered in snow and ice, dodging cars as they spun past me, I would often ponder what would happen to my daughter if one of the two spare tires I currently have on my car suddenly gave out, sending me crashing into one of the overturned snow-plows littering the side of the streets.
To help ward off anxiety during these death-defying commutes I would also contemplate which job I could get that would allow me to sit at home on days that the road is covered in so much snow that I could be driving on someone’s front lawn and not even realize it. Or even better, contemplating which skill set I possess that could make me rich by posting a video on YouTube so I never have to work again. Obviously driving in snowstorms is not one of these skills.
My wife and I have debated whom we would appoint as guardian for our daughter. My wife believes we should select an individual or married couple from within our own family, but I feel that Oprah Winfrey would make a more suitable provider given her wealth of experience and money. Then I found out the potential guardian should know about our plans, and more importantly, can decline the guardianship. I sent a letter to Oprah to gauge her willingness to raise my daughter, but I have not heard back from her (she’s very busy gaining more wealth!)
Speaking of wealth, not everyone is excellent at keeping track of money or making wise money choices. As I’ve mentioned in a previous article, with a Revocable Living Trust it is possible to designate a guardian for your children and also designate a separate person to manage the money. In my case, I’m fairly certain the guardian we select will be able to manage a checking account with $25 in it.
I have also learned that if we do not designate a guardian, or if Oprah (or whomever we agree on) does not accept the guardianship, anybody can apply! This would leave the court to decide who would be our daughter’s guardian. That means literally anyone, including the creepy guy at the bus stop, or his imaginary friend he is always talking with, could apply for guardianship of my daughter. That is an even scarier prospect than driving in a snowstorm, unless you are driving in a snowstorm with the creepy guy from the bus stop in your passenger seat.
The only way to avoid this scary, uncertain scenario is to decide on a guardian, notify that person, and seal the deal with a Last Will and Testament. And also don’t offer the creepy guy at the bus stop a ride because it is snowing so hard outside.
If you have any questions on the information contained in this blog, see the of Cincinnati attorney, Elliott Stapleton, with CMRS Law, 123 Boggs Lane, Cincinnati, Ohio 45246, or contact him at (513) 334-0099.
Elliott Stapleton Attorney with CMRS Law