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What do you get Mom for Mother’s Day?

Debbie Baker

Flower commercials have been flooding TV and newspapers for a couple of weeks reminding us that Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 12th.

 

We’ve all seen the commercial for the insurance company where the actor thinks you should give a life insurance policy as a baby shower gift – well, she got booties instead!

 

However, the idea of being prepared in the event something happens to Mom and Dad is an excellent idea.  Should something happen to Mom and Dad, you’ll want to ensure that your children are with legal guardians you choose and are being raised according to your wishes.  Give Mom peace of mind on Mother’s Day by preparing a plan to take care of this.

 

We can help with a plan that includes:

  • Legal documents to name short-term guardians

  • Letters to those short-term guardians so the people you've named will know just what to do if called upon.

  • Instructions to everyone who takes care of your kids as to exactly what to do if you are in an accident … so there's never any question about who to call.

  • Legal documents to name long-term guardians

  • Letters to your long-term guardians letting them know what to do if called upon.

  • Instructions and guidelines for your long-term guardians on how you want your kids to be raised...make sure your kids are raised with your values, insights, stories and experience.

  • Medical powers of attorney for your minor children so the next time they travel without you or you travel without them; you know they'll get the medical care they need.

  • A custom, personalized I.D. card for your wallet stating that you have minor children at home and who should be contacted if you are in an accident.

 

Debbie London Baker is an attorney committed to Family Legacy Planning - Here for You Today. Here for Your Loved Ones Tomorrow.  In honor of Mother’s Day, London Baker Law will, if you are one of the first ten families to get on our calendar, prepare a stand-alone PMC Plan for families who need them. We are also waiving our standard Family Legacy Planning Session fee for those first ten families.  AND, even if you don’t create a comprehensive PMC Plan with us, we will, during the session, help you name legal guardians for your children.  Call us at 813-586-1332 (1DEB) to get scheduled.

Spring is Here! Time to do Some Spring Cleaning For Your Legal and Financial Affairs

Debbie Baker

Spring is here and it’s time to do some “Spring” cleaning.  The things we usually do are clean house, clean closets, switch out wardrobes, etc ….  Now’s also a perfect time to get your legal and financial affairs in order.

 

Not sure where to start?  Here are some ideas:

 

  1. Review Your Beneficiary Designations

    Request copies of your beneficiary designation forms from your life insurance and retirement account companies. Look at the forms and identify whether you have a minor designated as a beneficiary. If you do be aware that if you die before that beneficiary reaches 18 those assets will be UNNECESSARILY tied up in Court, and may not be available to the people you’ve named to care for your children.

    Consider designating your life insurance and retirement accounts to be distributed to a trust for the benefit of your heirs, providing Court and creditor protection, and ensuring your children do not inherit money before they are properly prepared.

  2. Update Your Asset Inventory

    Your Asset Inventory is where you document the assets that you own, so that in the event you become incapacitated or when you die, your family will know how to find what you own. 

    Without an updated Asset Inventory, your assets could be lost to the state department of unclaimed property.

  3. Consider If You Need to Name New Guardians for your Children in the Event of Your Death or Incapacity

    Review your guardian nomination designations. Have you named guardians for both the short-term and the long-term - people you would trust to raise your kids fully? If so, do they need to change because someone previously named has moved away, is no longer part of your life, is no longer trusted, etc.? Is there anyone you would wish to exclude? Does the ID card for your wallet need to be updated? This is the time to check.   Alternatively, if your children are grown and your Wills are old, it may be time to update the terms  of     your Wills to include new assets acquired over the years and provisions for grandchildren, for example.

  4. Check Out the Title to Your House

    Get a copy of the deed to your house and make sure, if you have a trust, that your TRUST is listed as the owner on the deed.  The trust being named is necessary if you want your house to stay out of court in the event of your incapacity or death. Now is the perfect time to make changes should you need a trust.

  5.  Come In and Meet With Us For a Your Personal Planning Session.

    Last, but far from least, this (and any time of year) is the perfect time of year to come in and meet  with us for a Family Wealth Planning Session.  This is whether or not you’ve done planning in the past.  We’ll have a 2-hour working meeting that will get you more financially organized than you’ve likely ever been before (unless you’ve already done planning with us J) and give you the confidence of knowing you’ve made the most empowered, informed and educated legal and financial decisions for the people you love.

    This article is a service of Debbie London Baker, your Family’s Personal Lawyer. We don’t just draft documents; we ensure you make informed and empowered decisions about life and death, for yourself and the people you love.  That's why we offer a Planning Session during which you will get more financially organized than you’ve ever been before, so as to make all the best choices for the people you love. You can begin by calling our office today at 813-586-1DEB (1332) to schedule your Planning Session. Mention this article to find out how to get this $750 session at no charge.

 

 

Estate Planning for a "Peace of Mind While Living" Exercise - What you need to know AND act on while Estate Planning

Debbie Baker

 

Questions:

 

  1. What’s the purpose of consulting an attorney for peace of mind planning? (Estate Planning)

  2. Do you have a list of what you own?  And their value? If not, MAKE one. 

 

Examples:

 

    1. Home(s)

    2. Car (s)

    3. Investments:  IRA, Stocks, etc.

    4. Bank accounts Checking and Savings

    5. Jewelry

    6. Books

    7. Antiques

    8. Furniture

    9. Etc.

       

  1. Who would you trust with the care of raising your children?  How do you know they’re the right people? If you do know, have you asked them to serve in that capacity?

  2. Do you have a Living Will?

  3. Who would pay your bills should you become incapacitated?  If you pay your bills online, who would be able to take care of this?

  4. Who would close out your digital presence (email; Facebook; Instagram, etc.)?

  5. Have you designated beneficiaries for your money (life insurance, IRAs, bank accounts)?

  6. If you created a will years ago, would you write the same one NOW?

  7. What happens to your minor children if you die while they’re still young?  If you’re traveling and something happens to you, who settles the mess?

  8. What are common mistakes families make when naming legal guardians?

  9. What’s the challenge if your minor children are beneficiaries of your financial assets (life insurance, etc.)?

  10. Why would you trust an 18-year old with ANY amount of money, much less a substantial amount of money?

  11. How often should you review your estate plan?

  12. Where do you go for good advice?  How do you choose?

  13. What are the unintended consequences to your minor children if you die unexpectedly and haven’t planned?

  14. When does a person turn into a legal adult? What, without planning, does that do to a parent’s rights regarding that now allegedly adult child?

  15. Is it necessary to have “money” to consider that you have an “estate”?

  16.  Can you create an estate plan that can be handled with little fuss or muss?

  17.  Is the death of a loved one a good time to ask someone to think rationally and figure things out?

 

 

 

If you don’t know the answers to these questions, please contact Debbie London Baker at 813-586-1332 or email her at debbaker@londonbakerlaw.com to set up a consultation to learn how to plan and prepare yourself and your family. Don’t make the all too common mistake of postponing the planning process until it’s too late. Love your family and other loved ones enough to ensure that they are cared for after you die.  This consultation normally has a fee of $530.  When you call and mention this article, the fee is waived.