We know that raising a child is not easy. As a parent, caring for your child and ensuring his or her needs are met is at the top of your priority list. Sometimes, however, unexpected circumstances may arise where you may need a little extra help. This is why it is so important to have a support system or “village” of people in place to help you when you need it most.
Let us share with you some questions we encourage our clients, friends, and family to consider when evaluating who the members of your “village” are and whether there are additional resources out there that you are not taking advantage of.
Question 1. How well do you know your child’s school teacher?
Your child’s school teacher and administrators are commonly overlooked as people to lean on in a time of need. It is important to remember, however, that your child may spend up to five days a week in the care of his or her teacher. Establishing a strong bond, or at the least, a relationship where you feel comfortable discussing your child’s successes and setbacks is crucial. Working together, your child’s teacher can communicate any issues your child is having at school,while being notified of any issues at home that may affect his or her academic performance. This free communication will allow your child to have a rewarding and valuable learning experience at school and at home. Developing a good parent/teacher relationship is essential in the event of crisis.
Question 2. Have you met with an estate planning attorney to create your planning documents?
When it comes to your children, you can never be too prepared. This includes making sure your legal planning documents are in place. One option to consider is establishing a durable power of attorney. This is a legal document that provides you, the parent, the chance to delegate authority to a loved one to care for you if you become incapacitated. You may also choose to create an estate plan that encompasses your child’s needs. With the guidance of your estate planning attorney, you can create a last will and testament with testamentary trust provisions, or a trust agreement, to name a trustee who will have specific authority to make decisions for your child. It is important to note that your chosen successor may still need to go through the probate courts to establish a guardian for your child. This is a task that can be effectively accomplished by the assistance of your estate planning attorney when you have the planning you need in place.
Question 3. Do you have family members to lean on in an emergency?
It is impossible to plan for all possible circumstances. Sometimes, an unexpected situation can occur, it can place you in a difficult position, and you need help, support, and guidance. These are the times when it is important to lean on close friends and family members. We know that sometimes it can be challenging to ask for help, but simply knowing that you have a network of trusted people to call for advice or assist with your child’s care may help ease your mind and worries.
Do not wait to contact our office if this article raises more questions for you. When it comes to raising your children, do not hesitate to lean on the people you need. Remember, we are the estate planning attorneys here to help and support you.