Taking care of our children is one of the most satisfying and rewarding things we will ever do, and it is hard to imagine a world where they are growing up without us, or where our spouse is suddenly a single parent with insufficient resources.
You might be surprised to learn that you already have an estate plan – the California default estate plan. Your minor children will be placed where it is “necessary and convenient” until a formal guardianship proceeding is held. Your assets will be liquidated through probate and held in trust for your minor children, who will receive cash when they are 18 years old. If you are suddenly unable to care for yourself or take care of your own financial affairs, your family, including your spouse, may have to go to court to get permission to make financial and health care decisions for you.
With a personalized estate plan that includes a revocable or “living” trust, you decide when your children receive their inheritance. You can protect them from receiving money when it might do more harm than good (divorce, litigation, addiction). A trust can also keep your family out of probate court – where everything (your assets, your debts, your heirs) is made public and the process is time consuming and expensive.
With a personalized guardianship nomination designation, you can provide a vision for your children’s future by providing the guardians with instructions on where you would like your children to live, what type of education is important to you, and who you want to have in, and out, of your children’s lives. You can even specify a spiritual advisor or ask the guardians to take your children to see the Giants play at least once a year.
You don't need to be "ready" to do an estate plan. You don't need to have your ducks in a row or your finances in order. You don't even need "an estate".
You only need to be willing to face the task head on and start. I can help you figure out the rest. I hope you will attend my workshop at Recess Urban Recreation on Friday, October 6th at noon.
I provide highly personalized estate planning services to families with young children. In addition to my workshop on estate planning fundamentals and guardianship nomination for families, I will have information on low cost estate planning options, tips on choosing the right estate planning attorney for your family, and I will bring my notary materials in case anyone would like to have statutory durable powers of attorney or advance health care directives notarized. Email me if you would like the forms – firstname.lastname@example.org
More information at: www.defontelaw.com