All tagged guardians

Guardian Panel: When you can't decide on one guardian

From time to time, I get a clients who has too tough of a time deciding on who the right guardian for their kids will be. In some scenarios, the best solution for that is a Guardian Panel. A Guardian Panel is a group of people who are named to make a decision together about who the guardian should be and/or where the children should live, at the time that the parents are unable to care for the children any longer. Anyone can use a Guardian Panel in their estate plan, but there are a few specific situations in which it especially makes sense.

Back to School: Emergency Contacts

It’s Back-to-School time, which means that you have to fill out those “emergency contact” forms again. It’s important that you fill them out properly, naming emergency contacts who have the legal authority to care for your kids and who know what the plan is and who they should contact if something happens to you, the parent. I thought I’d put together some tips for parents who are filling out these forms.

The #1 Thing You Are Putting Off: Estate Planning [Do the Damn Thing podcast, with guest Candice Aiston]

Candice was interviewed on the Do the Damn Thing podcast to talk about the #1 thing that the podcast listeners reported that they were putting off: Estate Planning.

On the episode, Candice talks about the 3 documents that everyone over 18 should have in place, the additional documents that all parents should have in place, whether you should DIY your estate plan, why people put off estate planning, how to get started on estate planning, and so much more.

Adulting: How to prepare for summer travel with estate planning.

Many years ago, I read a story about a family who was in a car wreck while on vacation in another state. The parents were killed, but all of the children survived and since the parents did not have an estate plan, the kids were put through a long, traumatizing court process. They were in foster care for 18 months before the guardian was appointed and could take them home. It was up to the state to approve medical treatments for the kids. Thousands of dollars were spent on legal fees. The youngest child had been 18 months old at the time of the car wreck, and he was three years old when he finally went home with the guardian.

The case really shook me, especially because at the time, my youngest was only two years old, and imagining that scenario was terrifying. It had a huge impact on the way I did planning for my clients. I have always started from facing the worst possible scenarios that could happen, and then planning to avoid any bad legal outcome that we could identify.

5 New Year's Resolutions for Parents

The Holidays are hectic, but it’s always a good idea to pause and make plans for the coming year. If you’re a parent, make 2019 the year that you get your legal and financial house in order.

If you are reading this, you probably feel similarly to the way that I do about parenting: It is serious business, and it is our responsibility to provide the best care possible for our kids and to make sure they are protected and that they have every opportunity to succeed in life. If we can toast to that, I want to share with you 5 New Year’s Resolutions for Parents that you should give to your family. If you have not given these to your family yet, there is no time like the New Year to get started.

Parents: 4 Ways to Ensure That You Leave a Lasting Legacy

Thanksgiving week is such a great time to reflect on family and the legacy we wish to leave for them and for the communities and the world that made this life possible for us.  

A legacy is so personal.  Everyone has different ideas about the kind of legacy they wish to leave.  Some people want their legacy to involve charitable work. Some want their legacy to involve personal achievement, such as writing a book or qualifying for and running the Boston Marathon.  Some people just want to be the best mother, father, or friend that they can be—the bow to their arrows. All of these ideas about what constitutes a legacy are legitimate.