Posts Categorized: Guardians for Minor Children

Make Sure Your Kids Are Prepared with This Summer Camp Checklist

This year, summer camps are expected to be back in full swing after two pandemic summers forced them to close or operate at limited capacity. Camp is an excellent opportunity for kids to make new friends, try new activities, and gain self-confidence and resilience. But as parents and counselors know, a lot of preparation goes into making lasting summer camp memories.

Camp is a unique experience because it may be the only time during the year that kids are away from home – and parental supervision – for an extended period. Although the time spent apart can be positive for the parent-child relationship, there are several contingencies that families should plan for ahead of time. After your child is off at camp, it may be too late to update contact information, medication lists, and temporary guardianship permissions. READ MORE

If I Give My Home to My Child in My Will, Can They Take My Home While I Am Still Alive?

A will is a legal document that specifies what happens to your property upon your death. The key phrase here is “upon your death.” A will has no real legal significance until the time of your death. A will does not change title (ownership) to the property during your life, so naming your child in your will as the recipient of your home means that they have no ownership rights to your home until after your death. Also, you can rewrite or change a will at any time during your life while you are still mentally able to do so. Your child cannot take you home while you are still alive for these reasons.

You are using a will to give your house to your child at your death guarantees that they will have to go through the probate process to complete the title transfer. To avoid probate, some people will put their child’s name on the deed to their home while they are living, with the intent of continuing to own the house while they are alive and passing the home to their child at the time of their death. As discussed above, title to property is received through a deed. READ MORE

How Naming Guardians For Your Kids In Your Will Can Leave Them At Risk

One of the most disturbing aspects of this situation is that you probably have no idea just how vulnerable your kids are since this is a blind spot inherent to the estate plan of countless parents worldwide. Even many lawyers aren’t fully aware of this issue – and that’s because most lawyers don’t understand what’s necessary for planning and ensuring the well-being and care of minor children.

Fortunately, you’ve come to the right place, whether you’ve named guardians for your kids in your will or have yet to take any action at all. As your Personal Family Lawyer®, we specialize in legal planning for the unique needs of families with minor children. We can ensure that you have all of the proper legal safeguards to ensure that your kids will always be cared for by the people you would want, in precisely the way you would wish to, should anything ever happen to you. READ MORE

Protect Your Children’s Inheritance With A Lifetime Asset Protection Trust

Creating a will or a revocable living trust protects your kid’s inheritance. Still, in most cases, you’ll be guided to distribute assets through your will or trust to your children at specific ages and stages, such as one-third at age 25, half the balance at 30, and the rest at 35.

If you’ve created an estate plan, check to see if this is how your will or trust leaves assets to your children. If so, you may not have been told about another option to give your children access, control, and airtight asset protection for whatever assets they inherit from you. READ MORE

Changes to the FAFSA Form and What It Means for Grandparents

College tuition costs and student loan debt keep going up, so much so that student debt has reached a crisis point. Student loan debt in the United States is approaching $2 trillion and grows six times faster than the national economy. The average annual cost of a private four-year college is more than $32,000 – not including expenses such as housing, food, books, and supplies. Between 2005 and 2020, the average per-student debt level nearly doubled, from $17,000 to $30,000. 

Student loan debt is an economic drag, limiting opportunities long after graduation. One of the most popular ways to save for education is a 529 plan, a qualified tuition program. These plans take their name from Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code, but they are established and maintained at the state level. Every state except Wyoming has a version of the 529 plan.  READ MORE

Don’t Leave Your Children With The Babysitter Until You Read This

As we head into the third year of the pandemic, we are coming to terms with just how fragile our lives and health are. If you haven’t gotten sick yourself, it’s almost certain you know someone who has, and many of us even know of one or more individuals who have died in the past two years. 

Although severe illness and death are always at risk for – and should plan for – the pandemic has forced many of us to face our mortality like no other event in recent memory. Some of those worst-case scenarios we thought would never happen now seem much more likely, and for some people, those unthinkable situations have even become a reality. READ MORE

5 Ways DIY Estate Plans Can Fail & Leave Your Family At Risk – Part 2

State laws are also particular about who can serve in specific roles like executor, trustee, or financial power of attorney. In some states, for instance, the executor of your will must either be a family member or an in-law and if not, the person must live in your state. If your chosen executor doesn’t meet those requirements, they cannot serve.

Furthermore, some states require the person you name as your executor to get a bond, like an insurance policy, before they can serve. Such bonds can be challenging to get for someone who has a less-than-stellar credit score. If your executor cannot get a bond, it would be up to the court to appoint your executor, which could end up being someone you would never want managing your assets or a third-party professional who could drain your estate with costly fees. READ MORE

5 Ways DIY Estate Plans Can Fail & Leave Your Family At Risk – Part 1

Creating your estate plan using online document services can give you a false sense of security – you think you’ve got estate planning covered when you most likely do not. DIY plans may even lead you to believe that you no longer need to worry about estate planning, causing you to put it off creating a proper plan off until it’s too late.

In this way, relying on DIY estate planning documents is one of the most dangerous choices you can make. In the end, such generic forms could end up costing your family even more money and heartache than if you’d never gotten around to doing any planning at all. READ MORE

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

A comprehensive estate plan can protect the things that matter most. For many, this means their property and their family.

When naming a legal guardian for your minor children, there are many factors to consider, such as whether the guardian has similar values to yours or can provide a welcoming home environment. But the most challenging decisions are often the most important. Consider the outcome if you died without having legal protections for your children in place. Your children could be subject to conflict between relatives, or they could be raised by someone you would never want or in a way you wouldn’t want. They could even temporarily be taken into the care of strangers. READ MORE

Just Married? 6 Estate Planning Essentials for Newlyweds – Part 2

Indeed, once your marriage is official, your relationship becomes entirely different from both a legal and financial perspective. With this in mind, last week in part one, we discussed the first three of six essential items you need to address in your plan, and here we cover the final three. READ MORE

Reviewing Your Estate Plan after the Death of a Loved One

Although your estate plan primarily focuses on what will happen if you become incapacitated (unable to make or communicate your wishes) or die, the death of a loved one can have a major impact on your planning. If you have an estate plan, one of the first items you need to do when a loved one dies is to review the documents with the following questions in mind: READ MORE

Moving To A New State? Remember to Update Your Estate Plan

Although you likely won’t need to have an entirely new estate plan prepared for you, upon relocating to another state, you should definitely have your existing plan reviewed by an estate planning lawyer who is familiar with your new home state’s laws. Each state has its own laws governing estate planning, and those laws can differ significantly from one location to another. READ MORE

The Recipe for a Satisfying Estate Plan

Misconceptions about who needs an estate plan abound. Most people believe that estate planning is only for extremely wealthy business moguls or celebrities. But that could not be further from the truth. Estate planning is the process of making decisions about what happens to you, your money, and your property when you pass away or can no longer make decisions for yourself. Thus, estate planning should be standard practice for every adult age eighteen or older.

To learn more about Cheever Law, APC and estate planning, please register for our FREE educational Life & Legacy Planning Webinar. We look forward to serving you! READ MORE