I’d like to share a topic that’s so important for my family – Estate Planning Needs for Families with Minor Children.
I’m sure it’s not a surprise; however, my husband and I talk about this topic often. We’ve even considered taking separate flights to the same destination. Our children are so precious to us and we are always taking steps to protect them. At ages 7 and 5, we are already being kept up at night worrying about their well-being.
As Florida residents, we are blessed that the law provides us with choices and when we have young children preserving those choices is necessary. In addition to provisions in a will or trust that layout how our children will inherit our assets, it’s imperative that we consider who will care for our children if we can’t. Our inability to care for them may be due to temporary incapacity, permanent incapacity or death and we need to plan for each scenario.
In a document called the Last Will & Testament, we name a guardian of our minor children. This document goes into effect upon death. The guardian you name will be appointed if both parents have passed away. In addition to a Last Will & Testament, a document called Designation of Pre-Need Guardian for Minor Child is necessary. This document covers the scenarios of incapacity or death of both parents. Therefore, even if both parents are temporarily incapacitated, a judge will have guidance on who should care for minor children. Once this document is signed it is filed with the court in order to expedite the appointment of the guardian you have chose in the event of an emergency.
Another important document is a Designation of Health Care Surrogate for Minor Child. This document allows a caretaker, appointed by you, to make medical decisions for your child in the event of the absence of both parents. This document could be used by a grandparent watching over grandchildren while parents are on vacation. Once this document is signed, a copy is given to your child’s pediatrician.
Completing an estate plan when we have minor children is essential. By designating a guardian, parents are left with peace-of-mind and security in knowing that children will be taken care of and unexpected transitions will be a bit easier. Please don’t place the weight of important family decisions on a judge who doesn’t know your families needs.
Call 904-397-4444 to plan today!