Important Tips to Consider When Planning for the Future: Care Plans and Appointed Successor Guardian

Estate Planning Practice Group

By Estate Planning Practice Group

Care Plans

A care plan is a document you prepare that contains information about how to best care for your child’s daily needs. It may include a list of your child’s medications and the times each is given, particular foods for your child to avoid, how often your child gets physical therapy, or what to do for your child in an emergency.

When you have a child (or other family member) with special needs, a care plan is an essential tool. A care plan conveys vital information to caretakers. This may include doctors, nurses, therapists, emergency medics, teachers, child care providers, respite providers, grandparents, friends, and neighbors.

In the event you are no longer able to care for your child and a legal guardian must step in, the care plan can be invaluable to the guardian. Information regarding medications, specialists, and even night time routines can give the guardian necessary information to provide a sense of comfort during a difficult time for the child.

If you would like a copy of a care plan for your child, please contact our estate planning team at

Appointing a Successor Guardian

Appointing a guardian is a normal part of the process in estate planning, especially for parents of children with a disability. However, it is important for a successor guardian to also be named in the Last Will and Testament as well. A successor guardian is named as a replacement guardian in the event the appointed legal guardian dies or is unable (or unwilling) to serve as guardian.

A successor legal guardian cannot be named through the probate court. A guardian, however, can inform who to contact if personally unable to act as guardian. In addition, once appointed, a guardian should re-execute his or her own Last Will and Testament to appoint a successor guardian.

It is important to note that if no successor guardian is name or no one steps forward to become the successor guardian after the guardian’s death or incapacitation, the public administrator will become the successor guardian.

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