Planning for Your Children
If you are a parent of young children, you need an estate plan to ensure that they will always be taken care of by the right people, in the way you want, no matter what happens. If you fail to put a plan in place, however, someone else will make these decisions for you—and this rarely works out well.
At Morgan Law Group, one of our areas of greatest expertise is in estate planning for children—whether newborns, young adults, or adults with special needs. Regardless of your unique situation, Morgan Law Group is here to help you ensure that your children’s futures are secure via our Kids Protection Plan, which is a unique service we offer to parents as part of the overall estate planning process.
The Consequences of Failing to Plan for Your Children
Estate planning is necessary to ensure that your children are properly cared for should anything ever happen to you. Unless you have a plan in place that takes the particular needs of your children into account, the court will make important decisions regarding their future—without your input. Therefore, if you want to keep such decisions out of the hands of the court, you must have an estate plan in place that addresses important issues concerning your children. Here are just a few examples of what could happen if you pass away or become incapacitated without an estate plan in place:
- Your children could be placed into the care of strangers while the authorities determine what to do with them. (This applies even if you have a will or living trust in place.) And, although it’s true that this situation would likely only be temporary, take a moment to consider the following question: would you want your children living with strangers— even for a minute? If your answer to this question is “no,” then you must take steps to ensure that this never happens.
- 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.
- Up to 5% of the value of your assets could be lost to court costs and other unnecessary fees through the probate process, which is 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 18, they could inherit your assets, no matter how immature they might be. This could result in them wasting assets that they otherwise could use to secure their futures.
Our Kids Protection Plan
Although the things described above are scary, at Morgan Law Group, we have dedicated our life’s work to making sure these things don’t happen! And that’s why we offer a Kids Protection Plan with every estate plan we create for families with young children.
Our Kids Protection Plan establishes the foundation to all the planning we do; it is comprised of several different legal documents that all work together as a coordinated emergency plan, and it is carefully designed to ensure that your children will always remain in the custody of loved ones that you choose. With our Kids Protection Plan, you—not the court—make the important decisions that matter most to you and your family.
How Morgan Law Can Help You Protect Your Children
In order to ensure that your children will be cared for should anything ever happen to you, there are several steps you must take. Through Morgan Law Group’s Kids Protection Plan, we will help you take the steps necessary to ensure that your children’s futures are secure. Below are just a few of the steps you should take to ensure that your children are protected, all of which we’ll assist you with as part of our Kids Protection Plan:
Choose the right long-term guardians: As part of our Kids Protection Plan, we’ll help you choose and legally document your selection of long-term guardians for your children. As the name implies, long-term guardians are individuals who will care for your children on a long-term basis should anything ever happen to you. If you fail to select long-term guardians for your kids, the court will do so for you, and this rarely works out well. However, by choosing and legally documenting long-term guardians for your children now, you can rest assured that your children will be cared for in a manner that is consistent with the beliefs and values that you and your family hold dear.
Choose the right short-term guardians: In addition to long-term guardians, you’ll need to select local friends or family members who your kids know and trust to act as short-term guardians. Should anything ever happen to you, the short-term guardians you select will care for and comfort your children until your long-term guardians arrive and take over their care. As with the long-term guardians you select, our attorneys will prepare legal documentation that identifies and alerts your short-term guardians of their responsibilities regarding your children.
Give clear guidance to your caregivers: It’s important that your children’s schools and caregivers have clear instructions on who to contact should anything ever happen to you. Therefore, those who currently have responsibility for caring for your children should have the contact details for your children’s long-term and short-term guardians.
Provide instructions to your children’s long-term guardians: The long-term guardians you select to care for your children must know how to proceed if called upon and where to find your long-term guardianship documents. In addition, you should leave your long-term guardians specific instructions about how you want your children raised.
Exclude anyone you don’t want to care for your children: Although this step is often overlooked, it’s just as important as selecting the right short-term and long-term guardians to care for your kids. If there is someone in your life, such as a friend or family member, who you would never want to raise your children, you should identify this individual in writing. We can assist you with this by preparing a legal document excluding this individual from ever caring for your children.
Provide financial resources: Finally, you must leave behind enough financial resources to ensure that whoever is raising your children will have the financial means necessary to care for them. A great way to make sure that your children and their caregivers have the resources they need is to work with a trusted financial advisor to determine the amount of savings or insurance necessary to support your family in your absence. If you don’t already have a financial advisor, our experienced estate planning lawyers can refer you to a trusted financial professional.
The Choice is Clear
If you want to ensure that your children will always be in good hands, please contact Morgan Law Group today to begin the estate planning process. When you come to us for assistance, our experienced and knowledgeable estate planning attorneys will work with you to create a comprehensive plan that takes the unique needs of you and your children into account. Through our unique Kids Protection Plan, you can rest assured that your children will always be protected and cared for. Remember, when it comes to your children, you can never be too prepared.