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Don’t Send Your Kids Back to School Without These Documents

As the end of summer approaches and the excitement of back-to-school preparations begins, there's a crucial task that often slips under the radar: establishing legal guardianship for your minor children. Legal guardians are the individuals entrusted with caring for your children if you're unable to do so yourself.

Amidst the rush of back-to-school errands and enjoying the final days of summer, naming legal guardians for your kids might seem like a minor concern. However, it's far from insignificant.

As children head back to school, they'll be spending most of their time under the supervision of others—teachers, coaches, and babysitters. This means they'll be in the care of individuals who lack legal authority to make long-term decisions for them in the event of your incapacity or unavailability.

Moreover, if your children are heading off to college, you'll no longer have the legal authority to make decisions on their behalf or access their medical records in case of an emergency unless they create Powers of Attorney and Health Care Directives.

While it's comforting to believe that you can rely on friends or family members to care for your children if needed, informal arrangements aren't sufficient. In the event of your incapacitation or demise, there's a risk that your child could be placed in protective custody by social services until a permanent arrangement is made.

The individual chosen to care for your child may not necessarily be someone your child knows or trusts but rather a stranger within the foster care system. Even worse, the appointed guardian could be someone you wouldn't want raising your children, chosen by a well-intentioned court system unaware of your preferences.

Failure to designate legal guardians can lead to familial conflicts and lengthy court proceedings, placing unnecessary burdens on your loved ones. It's a common mistake to neglect naming more than one guardian for your children, leaving the decision ultimately to a judge unfamiliar with your family dynamics.

By formally appointing both short-term and long-term guardians for your children, you ensure they are always under the care of trusted individuals who understand your family's values and dynamics.

For college-bound kids, relying on the assumption that they'd want you to have access to their medical and financial information isn't enough. Hospitals and banks require official legal documents for such access, which is why we provide young adult planning documents to all our client families with college-going children.

A Thoughtful Approach for Your Peace of Mind

As your go-to estate planning law firm, we are dedicated to securing the well-being of your children under all circumstances. As the back-to-school season approaches, don't overlook this essential homework for parents - naming legal guardians.  

The first step is to go through our unique planning process to choose the right plan for you, your kids and everyone you love. We begin with an Estate Planning Session. During the Session, I get to know your family on a personal level to understand your family dynamics and your assets.  I’ll share the law with you, and together we’ll look at exactly what would happen to your assets and your loved ones if something happened to you right now.

From there, we choose the right plan for you - at the right budget and that achieves your personal objectives - based on the specifics of your family situation. This ensures your kids and family are cared for and protected no matter what happens, so you can embrace the excitement of this new academic year with peace of mind.

To learn more and get started with your own Estate Planning Session, click the button below to schedule a complimentary discovery call. I can’t wait to serve you.


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