Setting up a thorough estate plan is an essential element of safeguarding your family:
“I was never scared of dying, until my son was born and then I was terrified,” admitted Lori Woodward, a Gilbert Estate attorney. To help parents with similar concerns, Lori has put together a Kid’s Safeguard Plan, including:
Planning and Nominating Long Term Guardians
Nominating Short-term Guardians
Written Instructions for a nanny or caregiver.
A Family Emergency ID Card
Confidential Exclusion of Guardians
Instructions to Guardians
On July 31, 2006 nothing would ever be the same for a San Diego family who were traveling through Arizona. The Barber family was in a tragic car accident on Highway 98 near Page, Arizona. Melanie and Casey, the loving parents of three little boys, ages 3, 6 and 9, died. Their family was thrown into a nightmare.
This is a true story. Mel and Casey had talked about naming guardians to provide for the care of their three sons and the money they’d leave behind. They never got around to it. They likely thought their family would be able to work out who would care for the boys and their money, with love and grace, if anything happened.
That’s not what happened. After the accident, the boys were in the foster care system for a short time until family members could be located. Since then, over 1,000 pages of court documents have been filed, 9 lawyers, and tens (or even hundreds) of thousands of dollars later, the boys will live with their aunt Janine and their money will be managed by a professional charging $100/hour until the turn 18. At which point, the boys will share $22.8 million dollars from the jury verdict in the wrongful death lawsuit of their parents and settlements with other defendants.
Is that what Melanie and Casey would have wanted? We will never know what they would have wanted, but we can be sure they would have done everything they could to avoid what happened. If only they knew how easy it would have been to take care of it.
It does not have to be this way. Putting together a Kid’s Safeguard Plan is simple and can protect your kids from this unthinkable situation.
Learn from their experience! It’s Easy to Protect Your Family and Your Assets with the guidance of a lawyer who focuses on parents like Lori.
By consulting with Lori, you can relax and rest assured your kids will never be taken out of your home or raised by anyone you wouldn’t want.Don’t be one of those people who think they know what to do and leave their loved ones with a complicated mess. Most LAWYERS don’t even know what’s necessary to keep your kids in the hands of people you know and trust.
Readers of my blog, who own their own home and have minor children, can meet with Lori for an absolutely free personal Family Wealth Planning Session (normally $750) to ensure this never happens to your kids. If you already have a plan in place, but want to make sure it adequately protects your kids (most don’t!), ask for your free plan review (normally $950).
To schedule your no-charge Family Wealth Planning Session, call (480) 788-8010 now and mention my blog now.
Meeting monthly with your nanny insures long term success. After placing a candidate, we send the family a monthly email, suggesting they sit down and ‘clear the clutter’ and work out anything that’s bothering them. If this doesn’t happen, there can be tension in the home. The parent often doesn’t want to rock the boat, because the nanny is home with the child all day. I’ve had some Moms who are frustrated that the pan of macaroni and cheese is sitting on the counter all day, but she would rather fire the nanny and get another one, rather than confront. Moms may sign up for a nanny without realizing that they’ve signed up to be a manager.
I frequently call to get a reference on a nanny and am told, ‘she’s a great nanny except that she’s five minutes late every day’, or ‘she left the house messy’. My next question is, ‘How did she respond when you brought it up?’ ‘Oh, I never mentioned it because she was so good with my child.’ Is this really fair to the nanny? Now she has this flawed reference and all along she thought that you really didn’t care, plus she’s bringing this bad habit into her next job.
Sometimes parents don’t want to take the time to sit and have a monthly one on one with their employee. But here’s why it pays off. When someone’s given focused time, they feel loved, appreciated. Guess who receives the overflow of that love? Your child, your home. Guess who absorbs the tension in the air if you don’t? Your child, you and your employee.
I recall when my husband and and I were not getting along.We didn’t say a word in front of them, but the kids fought constantly. Once we made up, there was amazing peace and harmony between the kids. They just knew.
It’s not easy to confront employes, but having a regularly scheduled time to go over what’s going right and what’s not makes it easier. They already know there’s something wrong, you can’t hide it. Having this time scheduled also helps avoid the slip into the realm of friendship. You’re friendly, you enjoy each other, but you’re still their employer.
When I interview nanny candidates, I recommend that if those monthly meetings aren’t happening, that they ‘manage-up’. I suggest bringing brownies and saying, “let’s sit down Thursday for a few minutes. I want to find how I can improve.”
It’s hard for the nanny to tell the employer when she’s not happy, because she has a different personality. Her perspective in life is to serve others and we purposely look for candidates with a servant’s heart. But if the employer is coming home 30 minutes late several times a week, and the nanny is receiving the same pay, this isn’t easy to bring up. Give your employee time to voice concerns.
The reason for the monthly one on ones is for the children, for long term, satisfying relationships where both sides feel valued and understood.
For the children’s sake.