CHOOSING A GUARDIAN FOR MY CHILD - Financial planning for my special child

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  • Every family has concerns about the needs and care of their child in their absence. This concern requires urgent attention especially in families with a child who has special needs. It is good to be prepared to ensure the child's future is secure in the absence of the primary caregiver. Applying for Guardianship is one of the first steps towards securing your child's personal well being.

    Part 3 of series - Choosing a suitable Guardian for your child

     

    DISCLAIMER: Please note that this guide is for information purposes only. Please consult a financial advisor for any legal consulations or advise pertaining to your  financial planning needs.

    Who can be the legal guardian for your child?

    The Guardian needs to be a blood relative. Friends and well-wishers cannot become the Legal Guardian when blood relatives are present. Please have a detailed discussion and seek written consent from your candidates for the Guardianship. 

    Can a Trustee be a Guardian?

    Yes, the same person can be. But, it is better to keep the two separate as the Guardian also manages the personal affairs, whereas a Trustee will handle proceedings of the Trust deed i.e. the financial affairs of the child. If a Guardian is not appointed as a Trustee he/she will have no say or dealings with the Trust deed particulars. 

    Can a Guardian overturn specifications mentioned in a Will?

     No. A Guardian has NO say over what you have specified in the Will for your child. He/she cannot legally prevent the proceedings of the deeds of a Will or modify it in anyway.

     

    There is a provision for legal guardianship under National Trust. Is court appointed guardianship mandatory or necessary?

    No, it is not necessary. National Trust appointed Guardian is sufficient and you are not required to acquire court-appointed guardianship to complement it. Only if you have not appointed a legal guardian through National Trust will you need a court-appointed legal guardian.

    Can I appoint my sister-in-law to be my child’s legal guardian

    Yes, and only when no other blood-related family members of the child are alive. Any blood related family member can be your child’s legal guardian.

    How to apply for legal guardianship once my child is an adult? What is the process?

    There are two processes – National Trust recognizes four levels of disabilities. Check if your child qualifies to come under these four sections. If yes, then you can apply it through their LLC (Local level committee) process in your State. If the child doesn’t fall under the four specified categories, or if LLC isn’t available in your resident city then you have to apply for guardianship at the sub-divisional magistrate office in your State. It may take 3-4months to get the guardian certificate.

    Can the court overturn parent appointed legal guardian?

    Yes, this holds true if the guardian is not taking good care of the child

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    Jitendra P.S.Solanki
    MBA (Finance), Certified Financial Planner, Chartered Trust and Estate Planner
    Exp: 6 years 7 months