- You have not named a guardian for your children? It is never too soon to have this conversation. Probate Courts and Family Law Courts are filled with cases were the parents did not leave any directions or guidance to the Judges on who would be the best person or people to care for the minor children. Judges are just attorneys in black dresses. Setting on the bench does not give them super powers – they only can judge based on what it presented to them. Do you really think that someone who has never met you, your children, or your family can make a better choice of where your children live, what schools they attend, what medical treatment they will receive and how much money is spent on them – better that you? With no insight of what is best for the child from the person who knows them best, their parent, Judges just have to wing it. Perhaps you “hope” that they will be alright, but I suspect that you don’t want to gamble with your family. You have the power to decide today. Tomorrow is not promised to any of us.
Married couples: Don’t assume that your spouse will be there to care for your children. Too often you cannot foresee: loss of life, mental disabilities with age, and physical disabilities from accidents or illness, or substance abuse, just to name a few. You need to be prepared with a guardian selected just in case.
Single parents: What if the other parent is not in a position to care for your child? What if they have not seen the child in years? We can prepare for all of this.
- You don’t have a Trust. This is your chance to think back about being 18 years old. Your parent has passed away or is disabled. Now the Court hands you a lump sum … of $10,000 or even $250,000. What would you have done? In the world of estate planning, we call this a party and a car. Additionally, if this money went through probate … it is online as a public record. Who do you think will be calling or talking to your child to get a piece of the pie? Even well-meaning family and friends may have their hands out to get a cut.
Trusts allow you to, after death or disability; maintain control of how your child spends money. It can ensure that they provide a living for themselves outside of their inheritance. Many very wealthy people are saying that they are leaving their children enough to do anything but not enough to do nothing. As a bankruptcy attorney, I can’t tell you the number of times that my clients received a very large lump sum at 18 years old and spent it all plus $1,000s more even $10,000s more and were forced to file for relief under the bankruptcy code by their 30s. You have it in your power to change your children’s lives! Call us to schedule an appointment to help you name a guardian for your child and create a Trust at 816-453-2240.
- You have not prepared for your child’s education. College and trade schools are expensive an only getting more so! In 2000, the average cost of community colleges was $5,466 per year, and 4 year universities were $12,922. Today, they are more than 50% higher. Where will the prices be when your children are ready to go to school?
How are they going to pay for their education? We can help you set up at 529 College Savings plan or Trust that will help answer these questions.
I look forward to working with you and your family. You can change your family’s future TODAY with a plan!