Loretta is a single parent with an eight year old daughter, Madison. Loretta recently made an estate plan which includes a will naming her sister, Paula, guardian of Madison in the event of her death. The following is the letter to guardian Loretta wrote to Paula:
As we discussed on many occasions, I want Madison to live with you if anything happens to me before her eighteenth birthday. I know you will take good care of Madison and make sure she knows how much she was wanted and loved. Please make sure Madison knows she was the greatest joy of my life.
While I never spoke about Madisonís father or his side of the family, there is some important health information Madison should be told about when she is older. Madisonís father suffers from bipolar disorder. His uncle on his motherís side also suffered from bipolar disorder. Madisonís father was an alcoholic and there is a history of alcoholism in his family. Madisonís paternal grandfather and maternal grandmother both have diabetes. Please keep a record of this information so she can share it with her family physician when she is older.
Madison really loves playing piano. Please make sure she is encouraged to continue with her piano lessons. I have no idea what Madison will want to study when she is older, but the life insurance money and the other property I left in trust for her should be enough for her to attend a good college. As you know, Dad also started a college savings plan for Madison that he has been adding money to every year.
Madison is very attached to our dog, Bo. As we discussed, my estate planning documents include a pet trust which should be funded with enough money to pay for you to take care of Bo and pay for any veterinary expenses. I know you were not sure how you would handle taking care of Bo because you have never had a dog before. As I am sure you will see, it is really important for Madison and Bo to stay together. Jason said he will help with Bo if anything happens to me, so remember to ask Jason if you need someone to watch Bo from time to time.
I would like Madison to continue attending the First Presbyterian Church in Grand Junction. Also, she really enjoyed going to bible camp the past two years. While I know it is a bit of a drive from your house, please do what you can to get her there on Sundays as she has made good friends there and she will need them now.
I made several photo albums and scrapbooks for Madison. You will find them in a cabinet in the family room. Please store these for Madison as I want her to have them when she is older.
Well, I guess the rest you already know. I am asking you to care for the child who means everything to me. There is no one else I would trust to be guardian of my little Maddie but you. She loves you very much and I know the two of you will be okay.
Your loving sister,
Making a Will or Trust
If you are making a will to name a guardian for your children, see Wills and Trusts for more information.