Protecting Your Children

Your estate plan must safeguard your children, who are counting on you to ensure that they will always be taken care of by the people you want, in a way you want, no matter what happens.

 

At Sky Unlimited Legal Advisory, we are very passionate about planning for the well-being and care of the children you love.  Over the years, we have developed an expertise for advance planning for the care of children in the event of the death of one or both parents.  Without this advance legal planning, unthinkable events can (and do) take place:

Ø  Your children could be placed into the care of the California Department of Social Services ... even if you have a will in place ... and even if you have a living trust! (Likely this circumstance would be temporary, but you never want your children in the care of strangers - not even for a minute.)

 

Ø  Your children could be put into the custody and care of someone you would never choose, like the one family member who may have good intentions, but you don't want raising your kids!

 

Ø  A judge, who doesn't know you or your family, will decide who will raise your kids, even if it is the last person you would ever want.

 

Ø A long and nasty custody fight could ensure or there might be a challenge to the guardians you have designated.

 

Ø  Up to 5% of the value of your gross assets could be lost to court costs and other unnecessary fees through the probate process that can tie up your assets for years and deprive your kids of the resources they need.

 

Ø  Unscrupulous people can take advantage of children when they turn 18 and get a check for whatever assets are left.

 

With advance legal planning, these problems and more can be avoided.  A majority of estate planning attorneys do not address these issues.  They do not plan from a parent's perspective and they do not have the expertise to do a comprehensive job.

 

Yes, these occurrences scare us, too!  That is why we offer a Kids Protection Plan® with every estate plan we do for families with minor children.

 

Our Kids Protection Plan® includes a specific set of instructions, legal documents, and an ID card for your wallet.  If you are in an accident, your Kids Protection Plan will help to make sure your children are never taken into the custody of Child Protective Services or anyone else you would not want.  These clear instructions inform the Police and ensure your children will be raised by people you have selected.

 

To get started with your Kids Protection Plan®, please call us at (650) 761-0992 today or book a Family Wealth Planning Session® online now.


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When it's all for the Kids

 

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Think You Are Too Young To Need An Estate Plan? Think Again

The pandemic has caused Americans to change their behavior in a number of different ways, and one of the most positive of these changes is related to estate planning.

For the first time since the study’s inception, Caring.com’s 2021 Wills and Estate Planning Study found that young adults are now more likely to have an estate plan than middle-aged adults. 

 

Specifically, the study found that in 2020 only 16% of Americans aged 18 to 34 reported having a will or another estate planning document, but in 2021, that percentage rose by 10 points to 26%—a 63% increase in just one year. Conversely, the 2021 study found that the number of 35 to 54 year-olds with an estate plan actually decreased from 27% in 2020 to 22% in 2021.

 

Since young adults are traditionally the least likely to engage in estate planning, the study’s results are particularly encouraging for this demographic.

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Estate Planning Must Haves for Parents - Even If You Have Legal Documents

A comprehensive estate plan - which we prefer to see as a Life and Legacy Plan - can protect what matters most to you. For many, this means everything you own and everyone you love.

Obviously, this includes  providing  for the care of your children as an essential piece of your  peace of mind. But many parents struggle with including such provisions as naming a legal guardian for their child in their plan. Even the fictional parents in the popular television sitcom Modern Family struggled with this issue in a recent episode. While Jay and his new and much younger wife Gloria agonized and argued about who they should name as a legal guardian for their children, their children were left at risk that if something happened to Jay and Gloria before they decided and properly named guardians in a legal document, a judge would make the decision for them. Not ideal, under any circumstances. 

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How Estate Planning Can Bring Blended Families Closer

Yours, mine and ours … in today’s modern family, it’s oh so common. The blended family is the product of 2nd (or more) marriages, in which one or more of the parties comes with children from a prior marriage. And then, they may even go on to have children together.

If you have or are part of a blended family, it’s important to understand how estate planning could be exactly what you need to keep your family out of conflict and in love, both during life, in the event of incapacity, and when one or more of the senior generation (read: parents) dies. 

 

Let’s begin with understanding where potential conflicts could arise when you have a blended family. 

 

Consider the ones you love

If you have children from a prior marriage, and you become incapacitated or die, leaving everything to your new spouse or partner, there is almost certain to be some conflict (whether spoken or not) between your children and new spouse. Your children may feel unloved, forgotten, or resentful. 

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Why You Need A Trust - Even if You Aren't Rich

When you hear the words, “trust fund,” do you conjure up images of stately mansions and party yachts? A trust fund - or trust - is actually a great estate planning tool for many people with a wide range of incomes who want to accomplish a specific purpose with their money.

Simply but, a trust is just a vehicle used to transfer assets, and trusts are especially useful for parents of minor children as well as those who wish to spare their beneficiaries the hassle of going to Court in the event of their incapacity or death.

 

And why would you want to keep your family out of court (known as avoiding probate)?

 

Perhaps you’d like to keep private the details of the assets you are leaving your heirs. Leaving assets via a will that must go through probate to go into effect makes your estate a matter of public record. A trust is a private document and distributes assets upon your death without the need for probate, which can tie up assets for a long period of time in court.

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Estate Planning Must-Haves For Single Parents

If you are a single parent, life for you right now probably couldn’t get any busier. You are likely being pulled between work, school activities, and home - and the inevitable emergencies that fill the lives of single parents everywhere.

Being a single parent is a huge responsibility, even if you do share time with a parenting partner, and especially so if you don’t. Regardless, as a single parent, your children’s lives are now largely in your hands.  So what would happen to them if something happened to you?  Who would take care of them?  Who would pay for their housing and food?  Who would pay for their education?  These are questions you need to get answered, and the best way to do that is through estate planning.

 

Having an estate plan that covers the care of your children in case you should be in a severe accident, fall ill, or die, welcomes peace of mind for the single parent knowing everything and everyone they love is taken care of.  Here are the must-haves that can protect your children if something were to ever happen to you:

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