Ready to leave the little ones at home and spend some time as a couple? If you have completed a comprehensive estate plan, you can head off on much deserved child free time knowing you have your affairs in order. For those out there who either haven't completed a plan or haven't started, here are some things to think about.
What happens to your children if something happens to you?
If you and your spouse don’t come back, the terms of your Will kick in. Your children will be cared for by the guardian listed in your Will and your assets will be distributed by the listed personal representative. If you have created a trust or trusts for the benefit of your children, your assets will be managed for the benefit of your children by the person you named Trustee.
If you and your spouse are injured, who takes care of you and your children?
1. Maryland offers a Stand-By Guardianship form that lets parents assign a guardian for their children for up to 6 months. The standby guardianship can be used to:
Provide for the children’s physical and mental well-being, food, and shelter
Make educational decisions
Medical treatment decisions and to access medical records and other personal information
Make travel arrangements
Take other action in the best interests of the child
2. An Advance Health Care Directive or Healthcare Power of Attorney is a document that lists the person or people who will advocate and manage your care decisions. You should provide the names and contact information on these forms and share them with your doctor and the people you have named. 3. A Financial Power of Attorney can be an effective tool in giving financial control to someone else you trust in case someone needs to access your finances, pay your bills, or care for your children's expenses.
Each of these documents working together is a big part of a comprehensive estate plan that everyone needs.
It's never too late (or too soon) to get started on your plan. Schedule a complimentary phone call with me and let's begin the conversation today.