One of your worries as a parent is what will happen to your children if you cannot care for them. While the common law has the answer if you fail to plan or make your wishes known, custodial care and judicial appointment of a guardian for your children and your property, a simple, affordable and quick package of legal documents avoids this situation and lets you direct who will be your children’s guardian and who will manage your assets for them should a tragedy occur.
The first document needed is a will for each parent that appoints guardians for their children and trustees and executors their property. In the event of the death or disability of both parents, their wishes for who is to care for their children and who is to steward their assets on their children’s behalf will be clear and enforceable by a court, if necessary. It is designed to minimize cost, delay and uncertainty at this critical time.
Another document is a Durable Healthcare Power of Attorney, giving authority to a spouse or an other to address life-threatening situations if you are unable to communicate your wishes. A Durable Power of Attorney for Property does the same for your assets. Both provide guidance in those critical and traumatic times, and avoid disputes among relatives and healthcare providers. A Medical Consent Form provides your children’s caregivers with the information and authority to obtain emergency medical care without delay if you are not available.
Brooks, Tarulis & Tibble, LLC has an easy and inexpensive Family Plan that provides this basic coverage for these important issues. The documents are designed to complement your life insurance, property ownership and other benefits, and be easily changed to reflect the changes of your life. Depending on your individual situation, our estate planning can extend beyond this basic package to establishing testimonial and living trusts, generation-skipping trusts and other more sophisticated plans to minimize estate and other taxes, ensure proper direction of your estate, and minimizing the need for probate, while leaving it as an available option. We also prepare special needs trusts for those clients and their family members who may receive disability, medical or other benefits that could be lost through the normal inheritance process.
If we can assist you with our Family Plan or any other estate planning needs, please contact me.