Why You Need a Child Safety System
More and more families are getting their estate plans in place to ensure that their minor children are taken care of in the event tragedy strikes. Having a proper plan in place ensures that the people you want to care for your children will have the right to do so and the proper instructions to make the process as seamless as possible during a difficult time. At the Legacy Legal Team, we strongly encourage parents of all minor children to consider our Child Safety System. Not only do we address financially how the children are to be taken care of and when they will receive inheritances through a Revocable Living Trust, but we also provide several documents pertaining to the guardianship of the children. We believe each of these documents is necessary to ensure that your wishes are carried out if something were to happen to you.
Revocable Living Trust
When creating your trust, you will discuss with an attorney the different options you have for how your children will be taken care of while they are minors. You will also discuss who is to be in charge of your children’s inheritance until they reach whatever age or ages you decide they should inherit the remainder of the inheritance. With a trust, we can be as creative as you’d like to be with any restrictions on how the Trustee, Guardian, or children are able to use the assets you leave for them. It also allows the trust to own the assets you leave behind instead of naming the nominated guardian outright with no guarantee that they will actually use those assets to care for your children.
Appointments of Guardian
As part of the Child Safety System, we include two types of Appointments of Guardian: Long-Term (who will have legal custody of your children upon your passing), and Temporary Guardian (who will have immediate access to your children in the event of an emergency until your permanent, long-term guardian can reach the children). Often, parents name a family member who may live out of state as the long-term guardian to care for the children until they reach adulthood. This is when it’s extremely helpful to have someone local who you trust that can take temporary custody until that family member can get into town. Without the appointment of a temporary guardian, it is likely your children would end up in protective custody or foster care until the permanent guardian arrives and is appointed! These documents are filed in the court records so that they are readily accessible by anyone who needs proof of the guardian’s authority.
Letters to Guardians
We also draft several letters to your temporary and long-term guardians. We notify them of your decision to name them in a particular position and let them know what that means and what they will need to immediately do if something were to happen to you. We also provide a template for you to provide instructions about your values and how you want your children to be raised.
Medical Power of Attorney
We also draft a Medical Power of Attorney for each child. This document gives authority to any person named to make medical decisions and obtain access to you child’s medical records in order to make those decisions. This document can even be used before your death, which is helpful if your children often travel to visit family members who may need to make a decision if you are unavailable.
These are just some of the documents that are included with our Child Safety System. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment with one of our estate planning attorneys to ensure that your children will be taken care of as you want them to be!