Having a Will Alone Simply Does Not Ensure the Care of Your Kids If the Unthinkable Happens to You!
If you are a parent of minor children (or those with special needs) who are counting on you, your estate plan must begin with ensuring your children would always be taken care of by the people you want, in the way you want, no matter what happens.
At Hsiao Law one of our areas of greatest expertise is in planning for the well-being and care of the children you love.
Without advance legal planning for the care of your children, if the unthinkable happens to you, here’s what could happen:
- Your children could be placed into the care of Child Protective Services (yes, even if you have a will in place and even if you have a living trust) and, yes, it would very likely only be temporary, but trust me, you never want your children in the arms of strangers. Not even for a minute.
- Your children could be put into the custody and care of someone you would never want, like that one family member who has good intentions, but you’d never want raising your kids.
- A judge who doesn’t know you, or your family, will decide who will raise your kids, even if it’s the last person you would ever want;
- Your family could get into a long, drawn out custody fight or there could be a challenge to the guardians you have designated;
- Up to 5% of the value of your assets could be lost to court costs and other unnecessary fees through the probate process, a court process that can tie up your assets for years and deprive your kids of the resources they need to live comfortably, which can totally be avoided with advance legal planning;
- When your kids turn 18, they get a check for whatever assets are left;
- There are unscrupulous people out there who make it their business to look at the public records to find out when 18 year olds are getting that inheritance check;
- The vast majority of estate planning attorneys do not address these issues, and do not plan from a parents perspective.
Yes, these things scare us too. That’s why we offer a Kids Protection Plan with every estate plan we do for families with young children.
What is a Kids Protection Plan®?
A Kids Protection Plan® is a set of instructions, legal documents and even an ID card for your wallet, which you need to have if you have kids at home who count on you for their well-being and care.
If you are in an accident, your Kids Protection Plan® will make sure your children are never taken into the custody of Child Protective Services, strangers or the care of anyone you wouldn’t want because the authorities don’t have clear instructions from you. And your Kids Protection Plan® will ensure your children are raised by people you choose, not someone chosen by a Judge who doesn’t know you.