Kids Protection Plans
Why Your Children Need More Than Your Will, Our Jacksonville Attorney Can Help You Establish a Kids Protection Plan
Parents will do anything to protect their children. However, many do not realize how vulnerable they can be in the event you and/or your spouse become temporarily or permanently incapacitated. You may have already established a guardian for your children once you pass away as part of your will, which is an important step, but it often is not enough to protect your kids should you become unable to communicate or make decisions. There are numerous circumstances where a will’s directions will be insufficient or irrelevant.
Consider a scenario where you and your spouse get into a car accident while your child is at school and are unable to communicate. Who takes care of and makes decisions for your child in the short-term? What happens if you have designated a long-term guardian, but they live out-of-state? Where do your children go in the short-term? Not having clear, legally enforceable answers to these questions can lead to court challenges by members of your family. It could even result in your children being placed in the custody of Child Protective Services.
While these hypotheticals are of course unpleasant to imagine, they illustrate why Kids Protection Plans are so important. At Weldon Law Group, PLLC, we have nearly 2 decades of experience in helping clients throughout the state of Florida with their legal problems. Our Jacksonville attorney can help prepare your children for every eventuality by formalizing a Kids Protection Plan.
What a Kids Protection Plan Does for You and Your Children
A Kids Protection Plan includes a range of legal documents that can protect your children in case something happens to you. One of its key features is establishing a chain of command in both short- and long-term guardians. A guardian is defined as someone who has legal authority to care for, house, and make decisions for your minor children, with your permission in the event you are unable to care for them yourself.
A robust Kids Protection Plan includes the following documents:
- Nomination of a short-term guardian. Also referred to as a temporary guardian, this establishes a guardian who can care for your children for 1 year or less. This can be useful if a long-term guardian is temporarily unavailable or must travel to the children’s location at the time of your incapacitation. It can also be useful if you or your spouse must travel for work or military service.
- Nomination of a long-term guardian. This individual is usually established in a last will and testament and will be the primary caregiver for your minor children until they reach adulthood in the event you pass away.
- Nomination of a preneed guardian. Similar to a long-term guardian, this is often established as part of a “living well” and names a guardian for your children in the event you become incapacitated. A preneed guardian will remain the caregiver until you are physically able to return to parenting.
- Nomination of a healthcare surrogate for a minor. This allows you to identify a specific, trusted individual to make medical decisions for your children on your behalf. This can be critical if you become incapacitated at the same time your children need urgent medical care, such as if an entire family is injured in a car accident.
- Directions for guardian and healthcare directives for minors. If you are granting an individual authority to make decisions on behalf of your children, you will want to make sure they have as much information as possible and also not go against your specific wishes. You can provide legally enforceable instructions that limit decisions a guardian can make as well as specify critical healthcare information, like your children’s allergies or relevant illnesses.
- Confidential exclusion of guardian. If you are aware that someone in your family may attempt to assert guardianship of your children against your wishes, you can legally document your objection, which courts will take into consideration when deciding such a conflict.
- Emergency wallet identification cards. Giving your children an ID with practical contact and medical care information can help protect them in the event of a crisis.
- Babysitter instructions. If a babysitter is caring for your children at the time of an incapacitating accident, you will want to make sure they understand who to contact.
How We Can Help
Many of the above elements require the filing of legal documents that can be confusing if you are unfamiliar with the process. The last thing you want is for there to be any question of who will be caring for your children, so it is essential you hire a Jacksonville lawyer to help establish a Kids Protection Plan for your children.
Our legal team will work with you individually to understand every facet of our situation and tailor your Kids Protection Plan to what makes sense for you and your children. Our attorney at Weldon Law Group, PLLC is well-respected in the community and has a long history of delivering satisfactory results to our clients. We want to make sure have the peace of mind that every parent deserves.
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