Due to coronavirus (COVID-19), we are now offering online meetings. Click here for more information.

Modern Estate Planning Blog

Elder Law & Special Needs Planning

Sacramento County Trust Lawyer: You May Need Two Guardians for Your Minor Children

July 7, 2018

People often struggle with deciding who will serve as guardian for their minor children if they pass away. We’ve walked hundreds of Sacramento County families through this process. Sometimes, the family situation requires naming not just one guardian, but two.

If you leave your children a substantial inheritance (and don’t use a trust), it will be necessary to name a guardian for their estate until they reach the age of majority.  A guardian of the estate is separate from the person who will have physical guardianship of the child. The guardian who has physical custody will oversee their daily care, their education, and their health matters. The guardian of the estate only deals with property owned by the minor child.

In many cases, a guardian of the child will also serve as the guardian of the estate. But, depending on the inheritance you leave your child, it may make sense to name a separate guardian for the estate. Sometimes people will choose a close family member or friend to be guardian of the child while designating a professional fiduciary to serve as guardian of the estate.

As we walk parents through this decision, we point out the essential skills that the guardian of the estate should have. They include:

  • An ability to manage the child’s money.
  • They must be able to make smart investments.
  • A track record of managing property carefully.
  • A thorough understanding that the money belongs to the child not the guardian.

If the parents are certain that the person chosen as guardian for the child has the skills and experience necessary, then they can confidently assign them both roles. However, if there is doubt, parents should consider hiring a professional fiduciary or naming another trusted family member or friend who would be more suited to manage your family’s finances.

If you decide that a guardianship of the estate is needed, it is best to use a qualified estate planning attorney to appoint someone to the role. This is because fiduciary duty (the highest duty the law recognizes) owed by the guardian to the child requires that all laws and rules be followed and that the child’s assets be protected. An estate planning attorney can make sure that the guardian of the estate does everything correctly.

If you are ready to get started with the process of naming guardians who can care for your kids, both physically and financially if you should become incapacitated or pass away, our Sacramento County guardianship lawyers can help. Simply contact us at (916) 241-9661 schedule a consultation.

Call The Chubb Law Firm today at (916) 241-9661 to review your goals and discuss your options.

Free Resources


My wife and I have some quite large complexities both in our individual preferences and the construct of our life. When planning for our trust, Heather took the time to hear EVERYTHING we said. The trust which Heather formed for our family took all our concerns into account. When everything was said and done, we received a trust which, by design, is extremely personal to our circumstance. We also are delighted to have Heather to be part of our team of advocates to help when the time comes.

As Seen On