As a parent of three young children (all under the age of 4), I am very much aware of the basic legal protections that we need to provide for our children. However, even with the best planning in the world and ensuring that all legal protections are in place for your children, there is always the question that many parents forget to even ask:
“How will the guardians named in your Will know what to do?”
This is a question that so many parents forget to answer when it comes to their planning. When it comes to planning for our kids, some of the basic legal protections include:
- Durable power of attorney for financial matters
- Healthcare power of attorney and advanced healthcare directive
- Last Will and Testament (naming a guardian for your children until they become 18)
- Naming temporary guardians for your kids (to prevent your children from being admitted into foster care in the event they cannot reach your children quickly enough)
- Revocable living trust to hold and protect your children’s inheritance (including your life insurance)
However, even with all of this planning, do the guardians and temporary guardians that you name know what to do if the time comes?
Some questions you need to answer are:
- Where your children go to school?
- Are your guardians listed as the emergency contact at your children’s school?
- Do the guardians have keys to your home and the ability to transfer your kids from your home to their new home?
- Do your guardians know where all the bank accounts and financial accounts are located?
- Do your named guardians know the values that are important to you?
- Do you have assurance that your named guardians will raise your children with the values that are important to you?
- Do your guardians know who your family attorney is and all the legal aspects to complete once he or she become guardian?
When it comes to guardians and temporary guardians, naming them in the required legal documents is just one step. However, an equally important step is answering all the questions above before you even name your kids’ permanent and temporary guardians.
For More Information
If you have questions about estate planning and establishing the basic legal protections for you and your family, please contact our office at (513) 241-0400 or use the contact form available on this website to schedule a time to speak with one of our Estate Planning Attorneys. We look forward to hearing from you!