Safety Planning for Minors
The unimaginable happens more than people think. A car crash, a health crisis, domestic violence, a bad fall.
Most people believe that estate planning is something to be done when one is older, but the truth is, when you have children, it is particularly vital to make sure you have plans in place in case the unexpected does strike.
All parents with minor children should have documents in place naming who should take care of their children if something happens to the parents. Along with these documents - known as Guardianship Nomination papers - it is best practice to also have documents detailing who should never be responsible for your children, who can be trusted to watch your children for a temporary period of time until your appointed caregiver can arrive, a notification plan so that first responders, social service workers, or medical professionals can quickly find out who should be given care of children in a crisis, and a list of wishes or instructions for caregivers outlining your wishes for the care of your children.
What Happens If I Don't Have A Plan?
If you do not have the correct planning structure in place, and you pass away unexpectedly, typically what will happen is the court will begin a process for appointing a guardian for your children. This could be any individual that the court believes is appropriate to act in this role. This is a long and expensive process, and during this time, the children are placed in a home. Often this can be a foster care placement, at least for a short period, while social services and law enforcement attempt to find a caregiver.
Placement in an unfamiliar home can be incredibly traumatizing, particularly if they have just received news about a parent's death. Guardianship documents can help make this incredibly upsetting and complicated process much kinder and smoother. Having the correct documents also allows you to provide instructions on who should raise the children, and how they should be raised.
Along with physical and emotional concerns, there can also be major financial implications. If you do not have proper planning in place, the court will also need to appoint a conservator to manage your assets for your child until they reach the age of 18.
Once they reach the age of 18, they are given all of your assets, with no supervision over how those assets are spent.
Proper planning can make sure that your assets are not wasted paying for the expensive conservatorship process, and it will also structure your child’s inheritance to protect against any mismanagement.
At Liska Law, we can provide you with the documents you need to keep your children safe in the event of an emergency with our Safe Child Plan.
Our Safe Child Plan includes the following:
A meeting with our attorney to help determine what the best options are for your specific needs;
Nomination of Guardians and Temporary Guardians;
Power of attorney for minor children;
Letters to Temporary Guardians;
Letters to Guardians;
Letters to Children;
Caregiver Exclusion Letter;
Documentation of Wishes;
Docubank Emergency Wallet Cards for Minors; and
Emergency ID tags for children.
Contact Liska Law today at (564) 208-7952, or email us at Info@liskalawllc.com to learn more about our Safe Child Plans.