As we welcome the New Year, filled with hope and resolutions for a brighter future, if you have minor children or grandchildren, put this commitment at the top of your list– a Kids Protection Plan ®.
Even if you have already named legal guardians for your children (or your siblings have done it for their kids, or your kids have done it for your grandchildren), most people … even lawyers! … make 1 of 6 common mistakes when naming legal guardians. And, if you (or your siblings or your children) haven’t named legal guardians for minors you care about, make it your New Year’s resolution is to take care of the littles in your life before the end of this month.
It can be hard to think about a future where you couldn’t be there for the people you care about the most, but having a plan in place will ensure the little ones you love stay in the care of the people they know and trust in the event you become incapacitated or die. If you do not take action, the decisions about their care could be left up to chance, or to whichever judge is overseeing the family court at the time something happens.
This is not just some task to add to your to-do list; it’s a warm embrace of security for the littles you love. So, why is this the ultimate resolution for you in 2024? Keep reading to find out.
Unforeseen Circumstances Can Leave Your Kids In the Care of Strangers (or Worse)
What could be worse than your kids being left in the care of strangers if something happens to you? Your kids left in the care of that one person you know you’d never want making decisions about their education, healthcare, or financial life. If you don’t have a person like that in your life, lucky you!
And, you still want to be the decision-maker about who makes the most important decisions for your kids, if you can’t, right?
Imagine your kids at home with a babysitter, and you don’t make it home. You’ve been in an accident and are unconscious at the hospital. Authorities are called, but the babysitter doesn’t have the legal authority to care for your children until you return or until a Permanent Guardian is appointed. Even if you already named a Permanent Guardian for your kids, this doesn’t offer immediate legal authority for the Guardian to care for them.
In such scenarios, law enforcement might place your child into protective custody with social services. A Kids Protection Plan™ bridges this gap by providing legal documentation and instructions for Temporary Legal Guardians who have the immediate legal authority to care for your children until you return or until a Permanent Guardian is appointed by the court. This minimizes the risk of your children ending up in foster care or with a family member that you would never want in charge of your children.
Planning Lets You Pick Who Cares for Your Kids – Not a Judge
Is there someone in your life whom you unequivocally would never want raising your kids? Even if you’ve already named Permanent Legal Guardians for them, it’s still up to a judge to make the official determination of who should raise your children long-term. If this person is an immediate family member, the judge may choose them as your kids’ Permanent Legal Guardian if they come forward as a candidate, despite what your Permanent Guardian Nomination paperwork says.
A comprehensive Kids Protection Plan™ confidentially excludes anyone you would never want raising your kids and provides crucial information about your decision to exclude them that can be presented to the judge if needed. With this confidential document, you ensure that your children are always kept away from someone you wouldn’t want as their Legal Guardian.
You Have Unique Desires for Your Kids’ Education, Healthcare, and Financial Well-Being
Every parent has distinct desires regarding their children’s education, healthcare, and financial well-being. A Kids Protection Plan™ allows you to articulate these wishes thoroughly in a way that provides your kids’ Legal Guardians with guidance and your children with the comfort of their routine.
Plus, providing clear instructions to potential guardians ensures that your children’s upbringing aligns with your values and aspirations. This process not only secures their future but also grants you profound clarity about your parenting priorities.
Comprehensive Protection for the Ones You Love Most
While nominating Permanent Legal Guardians is fundamental, it might not suffice in every situation. A full-fledged Kids Protection Plan™ offers a holistic approach, addressing the potential pitfalls of leaving your kids with caregivers, excluding unwanted individuals from guardianship, and outlining your unique desires for their well-being. This comprehensive plan ensures that your children remain in the care of trusted individuals who understand and respect your values.
If you’re ready to make creating a Kids Protection Plan™ your most significant New Year’s resolution, the first step is scheduling your Life & Legacy Planning Session™. During the Session, we’ll guide you through our unique, heart-centered process to tailor a plan that reflects your wishes, secures your family’s future, and includes a Kids Protection Plan™.
And unlike other resolutions that may be hard to stick to, we’re here to guide and support you through every step to ensure your Kids Protection Plan™ offers the best protection for the people you love – both now and for years to come.
Click the link below to schedule a complimentary call to learn more about our process and schedule your own Life & Legacy Planning Session™.
This article is a service of Allison Cochran, a Personal Family Lawyer® Firm. We don’t just draft documents; we ensure you make informed and empowered decisions about life and death, for yourself and the people you love. That’s why we offer a Life & Legacy Planning Session™, during which you will get more financially organized than you’ve ever been before and make all the best choices for the people you love. You can begin by calling our office today to schedule a Life & Legacy Planning Session™.
The content is sourced from Personal Family Lawyer® for use by Personal Family Lawyer® firms, a source believed to be providing accurate information. This material was created for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as ERISA, tax, legal, or investment advice. If you are seeking legal advice specific to your needs, such advice services must be obtained on your own separate from this educational material.