It’s uncomfortable to consider and a relief when it’s completed. A well-crafted protection plan puts your children in the best hands during the most difficult time of their lives.
It’s not just a matter of choosing the right guardian. There are many situations to consider and decisions to make to ensure the best outcome for your child, now and in their future, should something unexpected happen to you.
What is a Kid’s Protection Plan?
A protection plan for your child guarantees that they are taken care of if something should happen to you. Whether you are incapacitated or worse, your most precious legacy – your children – will be cared for in a way that is best for their mental, emotional, and financial health.
A good protection plan includes who should be the long-term guardian, who can temporarily look after the children if the long-term guardian lives far away or is unavailable, and how your finances will be used to care for the children after you are gone.
“Did you know that 69% of parents haven’t named guardians for their kids.“
-Shane Jasmine Young,Esq.
When to Hire a Professional
Many parents struggle with sitting down to plot out a protection plan for their children because they can’t quite decide who should be the official guardian should they pass away.
If you are not sure who you want to name as a legal guardian of your estate, a lawyer can help you with this emotional decision.
A protection plan is one of the most personal legal documents you will craft. This type of estate planning requires a good relationship between the lawyer and the family. They can advise you on insurance to have in place for the children as well as draft letters to potential guardians and instructions to authorities and caregivers so that your children are never at risk of going into the care of strangers or someone not of your choosing.
Dangers of Not Completing a Kid’s Protection Plan
By not having a protection plan in place the children run the risk of having to be placed by police who inform the next of kin of your demise. If your children are being cared for by a babysitter or are in other temporary care while you are out or on vacation, then they can be removed by child protective services until the courts find someone suitable among your family and friends to care for them.
By leaving that up to strangers in the system, you are losing control over your child’s emotional well-being and financial future.
Questions to Ask Before You Plan
You should be prepared to ask yourself a few hard questions before completing a protection plan for your young children:
Who will take care of them in the way you prefer and works best for your child?
How will they be supported financially from your estate?
Who has the legal authority to take custody of your children immediately if you are incapacitated or something happens while your children are under the care of someone else?
What religious or lifestyle choices do you wish they have access to as they grow?
What are your wishes for how they will be raised in general?
Don’t worry about being too specific. This is the time to express your true desires as a parent for the guardian, and more importantly, your child, to understand.
After Completing the Plan
After making all those difficult decisions, you need to follow through. Inform all the friends and family whom you have named in your protection plan. Give them the name and number of the attorney who assisted with creating the plan. Make sure they understand the role they will play if something dire occurs and how important their role is to you.
Put First Responders in Place
Often accidents happen when you are far from home. In this case, the children will need immediate care by a trusted friend or family member. Ideally, it should be someone who can arrive to pick up and comfort the children during this difficult time. This cuts down on any trauma that can occur while your children are waiting to find a comforting place to be.
Have a list of people who can temporarily be placed as guardians of your children if the guardians you name live in another state. Make sure the person or persons caring for your children have a list of the people to call who can legally take control of the children. Otherwise, the police may be forced to call child protective services to serve as a temporary legal guardian.
For more information about how to create a Kid Protection Plan, contact the Young Law Group by visiting their website at Younglawlive.com
Members of the editorial and news staff of the Las Vegas Review-Journal were not involved in the creation of this content.