As a parent, you want what is best for your children no matter what. You work hard to provide them with a comfortable, nurturing home and spend as much time with them as possible to give them love, support, and guidance.
But what if you and your spouse are suddenly not around anymore to raise your children? What will happen to them?
More than distributing your valuables
Many people in southeast Michigan have the misconception that estate planning is only about deciding who will inherit their wealth after they pass away. That is an important component, but a comprehensive estate plan can do much more than that. It can help you plan ahead in case of disaster. This is especially important for parents of young children or a disabled child.
Answering vital questions for your kids
Having a will in place can give answers to questions like:
Who would raise your kids if you and your spouse died?
Your Last Will and Testament can outline who you would like to be the guardian of your children if you are no longer able to care for them. While this decision is ultimately determined by the Court, your recommendation is honored unless the Court is provided with compelling evidence as to why your choice should not have custody of your children.
Who would handle their financial needs?
Your Last Will and Testament can also name a conservator, the individual who is responsible for managing the assets you leave to your children. Often this is the same person who is named guardian; however, you can choose another trusted individual who can work with the guardian to make decisions regarding your children’s needs.
Who would make sure they receive the best education possible?
As outlined above, those who you name guardian and conservator will have the power to make the decisions you make now. Where will your children attend school? What additional resources should they have? These are directives you can outline in a comprehensive estate plan to give guidance to those caring for your children if you are not able to.
If one or more of your children has special needs, who would make sure those needs are met, whether they are still minors or are adults?
While estate plans generally cover the guardianship and conservatorship of minors, no two families are exactly alike. Working with an experienced attorney is the best way to ensure that your family’s specific needs are met no matter what the circumstances.
By designating a guardian and conservator in your estate plan, you can be assured that someone you trust will take care of these matters. Or you can designate multiple people to split these duties if you and your spouse prefer. If you and your spouse pass away without an estate plan, or if your wills they do not address these questions, Michigan law states that a judge would determine who would raise your kids. Not only is this a long and expensive process, but a court also may not appoint the person you would have chosen. That is why we offer comprehensive estate planning services that are designed to protect every aspect of your family’s future from unforeseen events.
At Gudeman & Associates, we work hard to ensure your family’s future is fully protected when the unexpected happens. Call us today to schedule a free 30-minute consultation. During your appointment, we will cover the different documents and provisions available to build your estate plan based on your family’s needs and dynamics.