Picture this – you get an opportunity to spend some alone time with your spouse. What do you do to prepare for date night? You carefully select a babysitter. Then, you write detailed instructions; when to feed the baby, how often to change diapers, what snacks are allowed…and you leave a myriad of contact information including your cell phone numbers, the grandparent’s phone numbers, the neighbor’s phone number…you get the idea.

Putting this plan in place takes some time, but it provides you with a great sense of peace knowing that the babysitter you chose will have all that he or she needs to make sure your children are okay during your absence.

Now we’re going to ask you a question. Answer honestly. How much time have you spent planning for your children’s future in the event that you can no longer care for them?

If you are like most parents of young children, we already know the answer. It’s a sad fact that most parents of young children do not have an estate plan in place.  If you think about it, you probably spend more time preparing to go out for a dinner and a movie than you do planning for the potential that you won’t be there to raise them.

We get it. The odds are in your favor. Chances are great that you will live a long, healthy life. But, accidents happen. Even young and healthy people can face the unexpected. You could be temporarily or permanently incapacitated – or worse. If something does happen to one or both parents, it can devastate a child’s world. Even though you can’t plan away the emotional trauma they will suffer, you can put a solid foundation under them that will ensure that they are cared for by the person you choose.

In a way, the process is similar to planning for a date night, but the first step is to select a guardian rather than a babysitter. This person will raise your child, so you should carefully consider who should fill this role. It’s often best to brainstorm with a Rochester trusts and estates attorney, as he or she can help you consider each person from all angles.

The next step is to make a plan that legally documents your wishes and preferences, including your preferences for your children’s upbringing, what type of education you envision, experiences you wish for them to have, at what age should they inherit money that you leave for them, etc. Again, an experienced Rochester trusts and estates attorney can help guide you through this process.

Just like having a detailed plan for date night, once your estate plan is in place, you’ll be able to relax and enjoy the peace of mind that your children will have a secure future even if you aren’t there. Call our office at 585-232-5300 today and request a Planning Session with one of our Trusts and Estates attorneys.