Having A Will Simply Does Not Ensure the Care of Your Kids If the Unthinkable Happens!
If you are a parent of 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.
At Legacy Law, one of our areas of greatest expertise is in planning for the well-being and care of the children you love.
Without advance legal planning for the care of your children, here’s what could happen if the unthinkable happens to you:
- 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 living trust) and, yes, it would very 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 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, a court process that can tie up your assets for years and deprive your kids of the resources they need to live comfortably, which can totally 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 that inheritance check;
- The vast majority of estate planning attorneys do not address these issues, and do not plan from a parents perspective.
Yes, I was horrified when I learned this, which is why I started my own practice with a mission to obliterate this gap!
We offer a Kids Protection Plan with every estate plan we do for families with young children.
A Kids Protection Plan® is a set of instructions, legal documents, and even an ID card for your wallet, 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, your Kids Protection Plan® will make sure your children are never taken into the custody of Child Protective Services or the care of anyone you wouldn’t want because the police will have clear instructions from you. And your Kids Protection Plan® will ensure your children are raised by people you choose, not someone chosen by a Judge who doesn’t know you.
We also ensure that you leave more than just your “financial legacy.”
We believe your financial wealth is only a small part of your overall “Legacy” which is made up of your far more valuable Intellectual, Spiritual, and Human assets – who you are and what’s important to you.
Most estate plans are only able to transfer your financial wealth onto the next generation. The intangible nature of your much greater wealth has made it difficult to capture and it is most often lost when someone passes. How much do you know about your grandparents values? Their most prized personal possessions? How they felt about you? What they had learned during their lifetime?
If you are like most people, you know very little about preserving and bequeathing your legacy. But, the wealthiest families capture these assets and pass them along with their financial wealth. And that’s part of the reason the rich keep getting richer.
We make this a part of our planning for you to help you capture and pass on your legacy; it’s about more than just your money. Together we’ll create your Legacy Library which includes recorded messages, letters, and videos to your children or loved ones.
And last but not least, we help you keep your plan up to date by offering a complimentary review every 3 years.
At most estate planning law firms the relationship ends when you sign your documents. At Legacy Law, we see the signing your estate planning documents as the beginning of our relationship with your family.
Over time, your assets will change; your family may change; we know for sure that the law will change. Your plan must accommodate all of these changes in order to make sure your plan works when your family needs it the most. If your plan is not properly updated over time, your documents become rubbish… worth no more than the paper they were printed on. And the costs of failing to update are typically far greater than keeping your plan current.
To help you make sure your plan is always current, each of our estate plans include a review every three years. We ensure that as our clients’ lives change, so does their estate plan, and their assets continue to be held properly for maximum protection. We keep all our clients updated about changes in the law and issues that might affect their lives.
Does this sound like the kind of planning you need?
Here are the three levels of planning we offer that are customized to your individual needs.
Level 1: Family Plan
This plan is for families who don’t necessarily want or need an entire estate plan, but want to ensure that their children are taken care of should tragedy strike. It includes all of the basic documents necessary to name guardians and execute your plan without risk of your children becoming wards of the state.
Level 2: Trust Plan
This plan is for families who not only want to make sure that their children are taken care of, but have financial assets that they want to ensure are preserved and passed on without excess court fees or probate.
Level 3: Wealth Plan
This plan is very similar to the trust plan. It is meant for families who have wealth that is made up of varied assets and want to ensure maximum protection and preservation as it is passed on to their children.
In our initial session we will discuss your individual situation and which plan will suit you the best, and then make customizations from there.
The types of documents that might be prepared include:
- Revocable living trusts.
- Naming of guardians (temporary or long term).
- Wills (living will, pour over will, etc.).
- Powers of attorney.
- Financial and health care directives.
- Special needs trusts.
- Written instructions to guardians/babysitters/caregivers.
- Medical information for your children.
- Credit shelter trust.
- Retirement trust.
- Spendthrift trust.
And others, depending on what your needs are.
How to get started.
By now you’ve seen that Legacy Law is something special and because you love your family, you know your family deserves the kind of protection, guidance, and love we provide for a lifetime.
Call today to schedule a time to speak with our estate planning attorney—(480) 399-0675.