If the Unthinkable Happens to You, Are Your Children Protected?
A guardianship provision in a will isn’t enough to protect your child. And many parents who have named guardians, have made some common mistakes.
If you’re a parent of children who are counting on you, your estate plan must begin with ensuring your children will always be taken care of by the people you want, in the way you want, no matter what happens. At the Heritage Law Center, 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, if the unthinkable happens to you, here’s what could happen:
- 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 is the one person you would never want raising your kids.
- A judge who doesn’t know you, or your family, would decide who would 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 could get a check for whatever assets are left even though they are not fiscally responsible yet. Add to this the fact that 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 just so they can trick the 18-year-olds out of their inheritance.
The vast majority of estate planning attorneys don’t address these issues and don’t plan from a parents’ perspective. As a child guardianship attorney in Massachusetts, we focus on addressing these important issues. That’s why we offer a Protection Plan for minors with every estate plan we do for families with young children.
What is a Child Protection Plan?
A Child 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’re in an accident, your 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 don’t have clear instructions from you. And your Protection Plan will ensure your children are raised by people you choose, not someone chosen by a judge who doesn’t know you.
We offer a free report that explains the common mistakes parents make when choosing a guardian and what to consider when naming a guardian:
Contact Our North Shore Elder Law Attorney
We focus on planning for the well-being and care of the children you love. We can help you craft a child protection plan to meet your unique situation. To get started with your Protection Plan, contact us for a free initial consultation.