Avoidance of Guardianship Proceedings
The cost, inconvenience, and lack of flexibility in arrangements involving Court-appointed guardians often can be avoided by proper estate planning. Generally speaking, assets should not be titled in a fashion which may vest absolute ownership in a minor. Common examples to be avoided are Totten trusts with minor beneficiaries, real estate deeded to a minor, and life insurance designating minors as beneficiaries of the policy proceeds.

Minimum estate planning techniques include: (i) a will with trust provisions for property devised or bequeathed to a minor and appointing guardians of the person for minor children; (ii) designating trustees as beneficiaries of the proceeds of life insurance and employee benefit plans where they are to be paid for the benefit of a minor; and (iii) utilizing trusts or custodial arrangements (See PEF Code §5301 et seq.). A detailed analysis of the foregoing techniques and their alternatives exceeds the scope of this chapter.


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