3 Essentials For Every Parent’s Estate Plan

Temporary/Emergency Guardians | Short Term/Intermediate Guardians | Permanent Guardians


The following is a transcript of the video above:

Hello, today we're talking about the three essentials for every parent's estate plan regarding their children.

I'm your host, Don Rolfe, the owner and founder of Northwest Legal Planning and Estate Planning and Probate Law Firm located in West Linn, Oregon. And this is episode 36 of Estate Planning Weekly.

So the three essentials for every parent's estate plan regarding their children.

The first one is to have temporary emergency guardians named for your children. The reason that we have this is there could come a time where you and your spouse or you alone are out, perhaps on date night, you have a neighborhood teenager watching your children for the evening, you get into a car accident, you're taken to the hospital, and babysitter is left there without knowing what to do or who to contact.

You don't get home on time, they try to contact you, perhaps they can't get through, perhaps a hospital staff answers the phone, and they find out that you're not going to be back, what do they do? So these temporary emergency guardians that we're putting down on paper are going to be individuals that are close by, that can take custody of your children and make sure that they're cared for while you are, while you are being cared for by others and unable to take care of your children.

We make sure that the babysitter knows where to find these individuals, we have it plastered in the house or posted in the house, how to contact them, who they should contact and what scenarios they should contact those individuals. That's scenario one.

By the way, if you have questions about how this works, you can reach out to me and ask me those questions by going to myestateplanmeeting.com and schedule a complimentary half hour estate planning strategy session where I can answer those questions and talk to you about your estate planning needs.

The second thing we need to do is name more intermediate or long-term guardians when you're unavailable to take care of your children. And this could be due to injury or sickness, you're infirmed, you're in the hospital, you're recovering, and neither you or your spouse or whomever are the primary caregivers are there to take care of your children.

These individuals are people that your children know, love and trust and that you believe will instill the types of values that you want in your children, will raise them the way that you want them to be raised. They're different than the temporary guardians that we talked about earlier, the emergency guardians because these individuals can be a little bit further away. Those temporary emergency guardians, we're talking about next door neighbors, someone around the corner, that can get there right away in an emergency situation. These other guardians are ones that you would want for long-term.

You're picking them out because of their values and the relationship that they have with your children, 'cause they could be watching them for maybe a couple of weeks, a few months, a year, who knows? However long it takes you to recuperate. So we make sure that we have these individuals, we coordinate with the emergency guardians that they will be contacting them to take control and custody of your children, and it's important that your children are going to be cared for by people, again, that they know, love and trust, because Mom and Dad are gone, right?

Mom and Dad are sick, injured, maybe stuck on vacation because of a tsunami or an earthquake, they can't get back. Whatever the situation is, you need an environment for your children because it's going to be a hard time for them. You need an environment for them that they're going to feel safe in.

And lastly, what you're going to need is, you're going to need a will because that's where you name permanent guardians for your children in the case you pass away. Now, if you're a couple, generally, if one spouse passes away, the other spouse will be the guardian, but if you both happen to pass away, you're going to need to pick those people that you want to raise your children, whether your children are still infants or in their teens, the people that you believe are going to raise them the way that you would want them to be raised, and love them the way that you would love them. And naming these individuals is very important.

If we don't name them in our will, or in your will, there could be a fight, a court battle, between opposing parties trying to become guardians of your children, and ultimately the decision will rest with a judge, and a judge will make the decision as to who will be the guardians of your children. However, if you make the nomination, you have the absolute right to do that, and those individuals should be the guardians of your children.

At the same time, we can document who we would not want to be guardians of your children, or who you would not want to be guardians of your children. If there are individuals in your family that you definitely would not want to be guardians, we can write a document that expresses that feeling, those desires, those wishes, your directive that they not be the guardians of your children. We try to make it so that that does not become public, but we can use it as evidence in the case that perhaps they challenge your nomination and try to get guardianship of your children.

Again, if you have any questions about this, I know I just covered a lot, you can feel free to reach out to me with those questions, and the easiest way to do that is to go to myestateplanmeeting.com, book a complimentary half-hour estate planning strategy session where I can answer those questions and talk to you about your estate planning needs. And I'm happy to do that. And we can do that either on the phone or in person.

So to sum it up, we need to name emergency, temporary guardians, intermediate guardians, and long-term guardians for your children. As long as they're minors, you must absolutely do this. It's what parents should be doing for their kids because you love your children, and you want to make sure that they're protected and they're going to be raised by the people that you would want them to be raised by if you can't do it.

If you like this video, please, or podcast, however you're consuming it, please hit the like button, subscribe. If you know people that would benefit from having this information, please share it with them or share it generally to the public if you think this is good information. I really do these videos and these podcasts to make sure that people are getting information that is helpful and necessary.

If you have any questions, you can also put 'em in the comments, you can write me an email if you can find my email address, I'm happy to talk with you about it.

Again, my name is Don Rolfe, and until next time, take care. Goodbye.

About the Author Donald Rolfe

Father, husband, entrepreneur, and owner of a trivia filled brain. I help families and individuals plan for the unexpected and end of life. Schedule a Complimentary Strategy Session to chat with me, get answers to your questions, and find out about your Estate Plan options.

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