As the school year begins, and our children settle into new routines, every parent should take a few minutes to do a “Back to School Check Up”. Look over your estate planning documents for the following:
- Guardians. Have you named Guardians to care for your children if something happens to you? If so, are the named Guardians still the people best suited to care for your minor children?
- Health care Surrogate for a Minor. Do you have a health care surrogate for each minor child, naming who should make the child’s medical decisions if you are unavailable?
- Trustees. Who will manage the assets you leave for your children? If a minor inherits, the money usually is held by a court-appointed guardian, and the guardian is required to hire an attorney and get permission from the Court before disbursing funds for the child. By naming a trustee in a testamentary trust or a revocable trust, guardianship can be avoided and a trusted friend or relative can manage assets left to a minor child.
- Micro-Plan. Many South Florida residents are not originally from the area, and many of our clients name relatives out-of-state, or even overseas, to serve as guardians of their children in the case of a tragedy. If the guardians you name for your child are not local, consider including a letter naming a trusted local friend to care for your child in an emergency situation until the named guardians can arrive. In some cases, without written authorization, authorities will need to place an orphaned child into temporary foster care until the named guardian arrives. By leaving a “micro-plan”, a parent can ensure that a child experiencing a loss will be cared for by loved ones in a time of grief and uncertainty.
To talk about how you can protect and provide for your children in any estate planning situation, call us at 786-832-4694.