December 28, 2012
Being a responsible parent is an ongoing labor of love, and things like estate planning can get overlooked in favor of bedtime stories with toddlers and homework reminders for grade schoolers and trying to decide whether or not your teen is responsible enough to drive to school on his own and, and, and…
But, working with a will lawyer in Fair Oaks, CA is something that EVERY responsible parent needs to put on his or her to-do list.
Obviously, no one really wants to think about what would happen should they die or become incapacitated while their children are still young, but it is so very important. Think about all of the decisions you make for and with your children on a daily basis, and then realize that if something happens to you, you will no longer be involved in that process. The thought is scary, for sure, but it should also get you thinking about how you can have input in your children’s upbringing, even if you aren’t there physically.
One of the most important reasons to start your estate planning now with a will lawyer in Fair Oaks, CA is the need to name guardians for your children. This is the only way you have of really having a say in who will be there helping your children with the decisions and growing up they have yet to do. You have to set this up legally, or else the courts will step in and decide for you who will end up raising your children.
Keep in mind, too, that the term “guardian” doesn’t just have to include the person who will gain custody of your children should you die. You’ll also want to work with your Fair Oaks, CA will lawyer to set up short-term guardians for briefer periods in which you might need someone to step up. For example, if you are in a car accident and don’t have a short-term guardian named, your kids could end up in foster care while you’re recuperating.
In addition to outlining legal guardians for your children, you’ll want to set some of your estate planning time aside to develop a plan for how you want them raised. While you won’t have 100% say in their futures, but you will be able to make your wishes known, and you will have hopefully gone over these with your chosen guardian long in advance to satisfy yourself that he or she knows your expectations. Here are some of the big topics you’ll want to look at:
The other big advantage of working with a will lawyer in Fair Oaks, CA to set things up for your children is that it gives you the opportunity to develop a financial plan. Your lawyer can help you figure out the best way to fund your children’s upbringing should you not be around to do it yourself. This plan might include some type of trust, as well as determining how to fund that trust. Do you have a retirement plan that will go to your survivors? Maybe a life insurance policy is a better bet?
An experienced will lawyer in Fair Oaks, CA can help you go through your options and will likely have a lot of suggestions for things you hadn’t thought of yet.
Need help getting started? We are here to help! Call our office at (916) 241-9661 and ask to schedule a complimentary Peace of Mind Planning Session with the mention of this article.