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 (or those with special needs) who are counting on you, your Estate Plan must begin with ensuring your kids will always be taken care of by the people you want, in the way you want, no matter what happens.
At IMME Law, one of our areas of greatest expertise is in planning for the well-being and care of the children you love.
Without legal planning for the care of your children, if the unthinkable happens to you, here’s what could occur:
- Your children could be placed into the care of Child Protective Services (yes, even if you have a Will in place and even if you have a Trust) and, yes, it would very likely only be temporary. 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 you’d 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’s 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.
- Up to 5% of the value of your assets could be lost to court costs and other unnecessary fees through the probate process. This process could tie up your assets for years and deprive your kids of the resources they need to live comfortably, which can be avoided with advance legal planning.
- When your kids turn 18, they get a check for whatever assets are left.
- There are unscrupulous people out there who make it their business to look at the public records to find out when 18 year olds are getting their inheritance check.
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 us too. That’s why we offer a Guardianship Plan with every Estate Plan we do for families with young children.
What is a Guardianship Plan?
A Guardianship Plan is a set of instructions and legal documents which you need if you have kids at home who count on you for their well-being and care.
If you are in an accident, your Guardianship Plan will make sure your kids are never taken into the custody of Child Protective Services, strangers or the care of anyone you wouldn’t want because the authorities don’t have clear instructions from you. In addition, your Guardianship Plan will ensure your kids are raised by people you choose, not someone chosen by a Judge who doesn’t know you.
To get started on your Guardianship Plan for your kids, contact us.
To learn more view this letter to families with kids: What is a Guardianship Plan and Why Do You Need One.