As we enter this month honoring moms, I’d like us to take a step back and reflect on all of the roles of a mother. Mothers are the ultimate protectors, the original “SHeroes” (female super heroes), the knot that keeps the laces together when everything really wants to just fall apart. As moms we guide, encourage, build, unify and protect. Sometimes it’s not pretty and at times it looks like the most beautiful thing we’ve ever seen. Nonetheless, whether our children are grown or infants looking to us to fulfill every need, we are always drawn to protect our children.
Protecting our children takes on many different forms throughout our life. There are many things that we do to protect them that they see and experience daily; however, oftentimes it’s those things that they don’t know about that profoundly affect them when they least expect it. As a mom, my focus is on protecting my kids and keeping them happy and healthy as well as soccer Saturdays, rushing to the pool for an hour before dinner, and wiping their tears whether from toddler tantrums or tumbling off a bike.
As an estate planning attorney, I realize that their lives could be turned upside down in a moment due to my incapacity or death. This is a tough realization; however, I honor the moms who have sat in my office with tears in their eyes knowing that tragedy may come sooner rather than later. I honor them for their courage to face their mortality, to plan and to provide guardians for their children in advance of the need to ensure a judge will not be left to make decisions without direction.
By now you know I’m an avid believer in peace-of-mind planning; and, I apologize in advance for the myriad of emotions that this article may cause. However, playing ostrich is inherently against being a mom. I often joke around with my kids by telling them I know and see everything – I have eyes on the back of my head. As moms we know this is true. Our protection mode is a gut feeling – we catch the Lego before it goes in their mouth and then stop and wonder how we knew what was going to happen. However, when it comes to estate planning many of us play ostrich because we don’t want to face our own mortality. Pure and simple, I get it. Life can be cruel; however, if we don’t talk about the tragedies of life, we can never achieve peace-of-mind.
Estate planning is one of the only things we have control over when it comes to life’s tragedies. For example, in the event of me and my husband’s incapacity or death, we have provided our children with the smoothest transition possible. We have done this by choosing guardians for our children and documenting them in a legally binding manner. Did you know that if you become incapacitated and your children are with a non-relative caregiver, the police can take the children out of the home and place them in child protective services until a family member is found? As such, I give my babysitters a copy of our designation of pre-need guardian for our children and the phone numbers of our nearest relatives. Ultimately, as a mom I don’t want my children to be in the middle of family arguments over their best interest and I want to protect them now and forever.
If you would like to learn more about achieving peace of mind and providing your children with protection now and forever, please reach out to us. We would love to share more information with you. Peace of mind isn’t a cliché at all. It is achievable and once you have it, you know that your role as a mom in guiding, encouraging, building, unifying and protecting your children will continue despite the twists and turns of life.