Estate Planning Must-Haves for Parents – Even If You Have Legal Documents
A comprehensive estate plan — which we prefer to see as a Life and Legacy Plan — can protect what matters most to you. For many, this means everything you own and everyone you love.
Obviously, this includes providing for the care of your children as an essential piece of your peace of mind. But many parents struggle with including such provisions as naming a legal guardian for their child in their plan. Even the fictional parents in the popular television sitcom Modern Family struggled with this issue in a recent episode. While Jay and his new and much younger wife Gloria agonized and argued about who they should name as a legal guardian for their children, their children were left at risk that if something happened to Jay and Gloria before they decided and properly named guardians in a legal document, a judge would make the decision for them. Not ideal, under any circumstances.
Take a few minutes to consider right now: if both you and your child’s other parent were to become incapacitated or die right now, who would step forward to care for your child? Would that be who you would want to raise your child if you could not? Is that who you would want to take care of the financial assets you are leaving behind?
And, what about the short-term? Are your children often left in the care of a babysitter who would have no idea what to do if you didn’t make it home at the end of the evening? If not, even if you have named legal guardians, your child could be taken into the care of strangers if something happens to you, while the authorities figure out what to do.
Unfortunately, even if you have made the hard decisions and worked with a lawyer to name legal guardians in a Will, your kids could still be at risk, because that would not take into account what happens if you become incapacitated, or if your named guardians all live far from your home, and it wouldn’t protect against anyone who may challenge your decisions. The only way to ensure your kids are raised by the people you want, in the way you want, never taken into the care of strangers (even temporarily), and that your kids would never be raised by anyone you wouldn’t want, is by creating a comprehensive Kids Protection Plan®, which only a select few lawyers, like us, are trained to provide.
If you are ready to take that step, start by sitting down with us. As your Personal Family Lawyer®, we can walk you step by step through creating a comprehensive Kids Protection Plan® that not only names a legal guardian for your child in your Will, but also ensures your kids’ care is fully provided for, in the short-term and the long-term, and in the event of your incapacity. And, if necessary, we can also ensure anyone you would not want to raise your kids, never could or would.
Working with a trusted Personal Family Lawyer® will ensure your entire family is protected and cared for no matter what. Contact us today to get started! Or, if you’d like to read the best-selling book on legal planning for parents, Wear Clean Underwear: A Fast, Fun, Friendly — and Essential — Guide to Legal Planning for Busy Families, just contact our office and ask us to send it to you as our gift.
Matt Wasinger, Attorney and Counselor at Law
This article is a service of Matt Wasinger, Personal Family Lawyer®. We don’t just draft documents, we ensure you make informed and empowered decisions about life and death, for yourself and the people you love. That’s why we offer a Family Wealth Planning Session™ during which you will get more financially organized than you’ve ever been before, and make all the best choices for the people you love. You can begin by calling our office today to schedule a Family Wealth Planning Session and mention this article to find out how to get this $750 session at no charge.