legal guardianship

10 minute read

Legal Guardianship vs a Will - Which Option is Right for You

Curious about the differences between legal guardianship and having a Will? We’ll walk you through the benefits of each in our guide.

Patrick Hicks

Patrick Hicks, @PatrickHicks

Head of Legal, Trust & Will

Being a parent is the best, most rewarding, most difficult thing we do in life. And any parent knows, our number one job is to protect our children. Part of that protection comes in the form of being prepared. Appointing legal guardianship for your children in the event something ever happens to you is part of that preparation, and it’s a great first step - in fact, it’s something all parents should do. If you’ve already gone through that process, you’re ahead of the game. 

But what about you? Are you protected? Is your estate, legacy and livelihood properly safeguarded? Keep reading to learn how having a Will can do exactly that. 

Legal Guardianship Definition 

The definition of legal guardianship is the person or people you formally and legally give authority to take care of your children should you ever become unable to do so yourself for any reason. 

Choosing a guardian is something many of us struggle with, because we don’t want to ever think about not being there. However, it's so important to go through the process, so that the legal authority is there and you can trust your little ones will be well-taken care of, by the person you choose, when they would need it most - when you’re not there. 


Legal Guardian Documentation vs a Will

Trust & Will allows you to nominate and formally name legal guardians, when creating your Will or Trust. Our exclusive  process, using state-specific forms, was developed by lawyers and experts who understand just how paramount this step is for any parent. We give you peace of mind, with a simple, affordable way to ensure that those most precious to you will be OK, no matter what the future brings. 

We’ve made the guardianship process easy - so easy in fact, you can literally be done in a matter of minutes. Once you decide who you’d entrust your children to, and nominate them using our platform, you instantly review, download and sign your guardianship documents. You can update them any time, so you don’t have to worry about things being set in stone should your circumstances ever change.   

What is Included in a Will? 

Ideally, your Estate Plan should be as complete as possible. The more layers you have to your Estate Planning efforts, the more confident you can be that your loved ones and legacy are both protected. Even if you’ve already taken the proactive (and awesome) step of appointing a guardian for your children, you may want to think about the next best thing you can do for them - creating your Will. 

Just like appointing a guardian, creating your Will with Trust & Will is quick, painless and best of all, affordable. We know you want the best protection you can offer your family, so our Will process can be completed in just 15 minutes for just $199 (individuals) or $299 (couples).

Our state-specific Will document is a complete, customized Estate Plan that includes everything you need to ensure you’re covered:

  • Last Will & Testament - Legally documents where you want your assets and property to go upon your passing. Also allows you to appoint an Executor, who will manage the process of your asset distribution.

  • HIPAA Authorization - Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act - ensures healthcare standards surrounding electronic billing and privacy protection are implemented industry-wide.

  • Living Will - Explicitly states your End-of-Life wishes in regards to how limited (or extensive) medical treatment should be in the event you can’t express them yourself due to mental or physical incapacity.

  • Power of Attorney - The document that affords authority to another person, people or organization to act on your behalf in regards to either medical or financial decisions. Powers can be as limited or broad as you wish.

Appointing legal guardianship is an important piece of your Estate Plan. It lets you feel confident that your children or dependents will be well taken care of should you suddenly be unable to care for them yourself, for any reason. If you don’t already have one, the next best step would be to create your Will - and remember, you can include guardianship authority in your Last Will and Testament! 

Still have questions? Reach out to us today or Chat with a live member support representative!

And if you're ready to have fuller coverage and more protection, get started creating your Will with Trust & Will today!