Legacy Solutions: Your Minor Child, What More Could You Do To Protect Them?[caption id="attachment_1133" align="alignnone" width="417"] Protecting A Minor Child[/caption]
By: Jon Hull, Author / Life & Legacy Documentation Expert / Speaker
As we wrote about earlier in this Legacy Solutions series of articles, people should start having their affairs in order when they get married due to their legal status changes. By now you are seeing the legal status changes clearly and why we need to legally protect our family and finances.
So now you’ve had a baby, congratulations! I remember clearly when our son was born. I was so thrilled he was here and that Terrie had done such a great job all the way through childbirth.
You might be asking, what legal status changed just because we had a baby? Well, there hasn’t been yet, but it could happen at any moment.
Remember, having your affairs in order as you go through life not only protects family and finances for the inevitability of age related death, but also for an unforeseeable, untimely, unfortunate fate.
The point here is what if something happened to you? Single parent children are the most vulnerable, so pay extra close attention. If you were to become incapacitated or worse, what happens to your minor child? If you have your affairs in order, you most likely have added your child as a beneficiary of your estate through your estate plan, and have designated a personal agent with power of attorney to see that your wishes are kept. You have also legally appointed a guardian for your minor child just for this circumstance.
This has to be in writing through legal channels, period. As we wrote in our book, A Legacy Undone, we were performing one of our workshops when a lady stood up and said, “I know what would happen with our children, we have talked with my best friend and she knows what to do. When I asked her if she had that in writing, in her estate plan, you could see her go flush with the realization that they had not set the legal precedence for that to happen. Now, the friend could certainly try and gain custody, but her testimony of the alleged conversation would be hearsay in court. If it’s not in writing, it didn’t happen! You see if something happens to you, legal status has now arisen for your child, and only the legal precedence you set by having that child become a part of your estate plan with a predetermined guardian will work. Even at that, the courts will look closely to see if that designated guardian is “Fit” for the task. (Note, I use the term “Guardian” but your State laws may have a different term.)
If you have read our book, you know how terribly inept our justice system can operate and how greed can show itself in an instant. Protect your minor child, even if you are not there.
Next Monday’s article, The 50 Factor.
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