Having a Will Alone Simply Does Not Ensure the Care of Your Kids If the Unthinkable Happens to You!
If you are a parent of minor children who are counting on you, your estate plan must begin with ensuring your children would always be taken care of by the people you want, in the way you want, no matter what happens.
One of my areas of greatest expertise is in planning for the well-being and care of the children you love – all the way from newborn to age of majority, and beyond.
Without Proper Planning, Here's What Could Happen:
- Your children could be placed into the care of strangers while the authorities figure out what to do (yes, even if you have a will in place and even if you have a living trust). It’s true that this would likely only be temporary, but trust me: you never want your children in the arms of strangers, not even for a minute.
- Your children could be put into the custody and care of someone you would never want, like that one family member who has good intentions but who you would never want raising your kids.
- A judge who doesn’t know you or your family will decide who will raise your kids, even if it is the last person you would ever want.
- Your family could get into a long drawn-out custody fight or there could be a challenge to the guardians you have designated.
- A portion of your assets could be lost to court costs and other unnecessary fees through the probate process, a court process that can tie up your assets for years and deprive your kids of the resources they need to live comfortably.
- When your kids turn age 18, they get a check for whatever assets are left, no matter how immature they might be or what financial lessons they have not had a chance to learn yet.
- Unscrupulous people out there find out when 18-year olds are getting that inheritance check by searching the public court records.
- Unfortunately, the vast majority of estate planning attorneys do not address these issues and do not plan from a parent's perspective.
Yes, these things scare me too!
It's the exact reason I created the Guardian Guide™ and it is included as part of every estate plan I create for families with young children.
What a Guardian Guide™ Does for You
Your Guardian Guide™ is a set of instructions, legal documents and an emergency wallet card – all of which you need to have if you have kids at home who count on you for their well-being and care.
If you are in an accident, yourGuardian Guide™ will make sure your children are never taken into the custody of Child Protective Services, strangers or the care of anyone you would not want simply because the authorities don't have clear instructions from you.
And yourGuardian Guide™ will ensure your children are raised by people you choose, not someone chosen by a judge who doesn’t know you.
Things Your Will Cannot Do for You
* Name temporary guardians/ caregivers in an emergency
* Provide notification to EMS, FIRE or POLICE that you have Family First Responders
*Prevent your children from being placed in the custody of Child Protective Services
* Provide medical authorization or HIPAA releases for temporary caregivers
*Name temporary guardians/caregivers while on vacation
* Establish contingency plan if you do not return from travel while children are with a caregiver
*Directly exclude a family member from the ability to act as a guardian to your children
Did you know that 69% of parents haven't named guardians for their kids. And of the 31% who have, most have made 1 of 6 common mistakes? Schedule a consult with me today and I can fix those mistakes with you.
Just Naming a Guardian Isn't Enough
Clients often contact me because they have one goal: legally documenting their choice of guardians for their minor children. The number one question I am asked is how to do that. The answer is simple! The names of the guardians you choose are placed in the will. That’s it. The guardians are generally given broad powers to step into the shoes of the parent. There is no guardian manual. No directives on how you wish the guardians to raise your children. No legacy left to your children besides the money you leave in your estate. It doesn’t have to be this way!
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