You have the primary responsibility for ensuring the well-being and care of your children. If something happens to you while they are minors, you want to ensure you’ve made the decision about who cares for them, and how.
In the most ideal scenario, your child’s other parent would be suitable to take custody of your child, if you cannot be there. But in many cases, that’s not possible or desired.
And, even if it is, you may want the financial resources you are leaving behind cared for by someone other than your former spouse or partner.
No matter what the scenario, as a single parent (whether your child’s other parent is in the picture or not), you need to take the steps necessary to legally document who you would want raising your child, how you would want your child raised, and how you want your assets handled for your child, in case anything happens to you.
We are all unique. Your childhood experiences are different from your best friend's, your job duties are different, your family situations are different, and so on. It turns out we aren’t all the same, and that’s why estate planning is an individualized process that can’t be accomplished with the standardized DIY tools found on the internet.
You may be single, married, have children, or not. But the one common denominator is that you truly and deeply care about the people in your life and you want to make things as easy as possible for them - if and when something happens to you.
Your wealth isn’t measured just by the dollars in the bank, but by the well-being of the people you love.
Married with Children
When you are married with children, estate planning is usually pretty straightforward. You want your spouse making decisions for you if you are incapacitated, and you want to make sure your assets go to your spouse when you die, and then to your children after your spouse is gone.
Seems simple, right?
If only it was, our probate courts would not be clogged with the impact of the complexity of money and family. And, there wouldn’t be $58 Billion (with a B) of assets in the State Departments of Unclaimed Property across the United States.
There is a myriad of questions that need to be answered to ensure your family stays out of court and out of conflict, in the event of your incapacity or death. And some tactical specifics that need to happen to ensure your assets don’t end up lost to the State Department of Unclaimed Property because your family overlooks something when you can’t be there to guide them.
Most of all, your wealth isn’t measured just by the dollars in your bank account, but by the well-being of the people you love. You care enough to get your estate planning handled so your family will stay out of court and out of conflict, no matter what.
If you are in a second (or third or more) marriage, and you have children from a prior marriage, you must engage in estate planning that will keep the people you love out of conflict.
No matter how close or friendly you think your new spouse and your children are, there is simply an unavoidable, inherent conflict between them upon your death.
Having said that, this conflict can be mitigated and you can ensure that the people you love most — your new
spouse and your children — will each be well-taken care of with the most ease possible. You can even take actions to support them being on the same team as each other in a time of grief.
It does take planning though, and Blyss is well-trained and highly skilled in planning for the needs of "blended families," which is the term of art in the legal profession for people who are in second (or third or more) marriages with children from a prior marriage.
So, if you are in a second (or third or more) marriage, contact Cruz Law to schedule a Family Wealth Planning Session so you and Blyss can look together at everything you own and everyone you love, and what would happen to all of it when something happens to you. Then, you can get informed, educated, and empowered to make the right planning decisions for the people you love.
with or without children
In so many ways, estate planning is the most important for you when you are not married but have a life partner instead. And, if you have children together, it’s exponentially more important for you to get your estate planning handled right.
The law does not protect your love if you are not married. Period.
You have to take action yourself to ensure you will have access to your loved one’s hospital bedside, and that your unmarried loved one will have access to you if you are hospitalized.
If you do not take action, it’s very likely that the person you love most in the world could be blocked from being with you or even from making health care decisions for you, including decisions about what you are nourished with, or who gets to see you.
And, that’s just your healthcare.
Without the protection of estate planning, the person you love most in the world could be thrown out of your house, ejected from your business, or locked out of your finances.
If you have children together, they could even be taken out of your partner's care.
Estate planning when you are unmarried isn’t optional. It’s truly a matter of life and death for the people you love most.
Married or Single: without children
You don’t have children, but you do have a spouse, partner, or other
loved ones, and you want to ensure things are as easy for them as possible if and
when something happens to you.
You want to pass on what you have worked so hard for your entire life, and do it in a way that helps your loved ones know and feel your love just when they’ll need to most.
On top of that, and maybe even more importantly, you want to choose who will receive what you’ve worked so hard to create, and also ensure that your “chosen family” will be able to care for and love you, in the event you are incapacitated and cannot make healthcare decisions for yourself.
Your wealth isn’t measured just by the dollars in your bank account, but by the well-being of the people you love. You care enough to get your estate planning handled so your loved ones will not get stuck in court or conflict when you become incapacitated or die.
Click here to schedule an appointment online for your Family Wealth Planning Session. You may also call Cruz Law at (907) 313-9605 to schedule an appointment.
Blyss looks forward to getting to know you and keeping your family out of court and out of conflict.