My mission is to educate families with young children about the importance of both short-term and long-term planning for the care of minor children.
It is not often that I ask more questions on an estate planning topic than I answer. However, when a child’s future is at stake, it is critical to ask the following questions:
Question #1: If you went out to dinner tonight and didn’t come home, who would care for your children?
Tough question, isn’t it? Traditional estate plans merely designate permanent guardians for your minor children, leaving them at risk of being taken into the custody of Child Protective Services and put into foster care if something happens to you. Your children are also at risk of being raised by relatives or someone else who you would not want raising them, and of being raised without clear guidelines for their care, education, and the values you hoped to instill.
The Children’s Legacy Plan provides for people you nominate (i.e. “Guardians”) to permanently care for your children if you are no longer able to do so. It also introduces “Temporary Caretakers,” people who can quickly take custody of your children, and care for them until your Guardians can take over and start the court process necessary to be appointed to care for your children.
The Children’s Legacy Plan also provides a medical power of attorney to name health care agents for your children to make medical and health care decisions for them if you become incapacitated or are absent on business or a vacation.
Even if you have a Will or a trust in place, your minor children are not completely protected without the Children’s Legacy Plan. If you are parents of small children, we need to talk. So please contact our offices today.
Question #2: Are the assets you are leave your children protected from a long, complex, and expensive Court process?
Without proper planning, your property will likely have to go through the Probate process. This may cost your children thousands of dollars in fees and costs and nine months to two years or more in lost time. It will also make their inheritance public knowledge, as a list of everything you own, who you owe, who your heirs are, how old they are, where they live, and what they are inheriting from you all gets published by the Probate Court.
I am as close as your telephone, fax, or e-mail, when it comes to scheduling a free one-hour initial consultation. I am generally available during office hours, and usually can return after-hours calls, faxes and emails by the next business day.
Attorney Robert P. Bergman, Board Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law, assists families in the San Francisco Bay Area with Estate Planning, Special Needs Planning for children and adults, special planning for retirement plan assets, and trust administration.