OC Elder Law
What Does “Micro Estate Planning” Mean?
One aspect of estate planning is organizing your financial and personal assets for distribution to family and friends after you’re gone. Preparing an estate plan in advance helps to reduce taxes on your estate, eliminates the need for probate, facilitates distribution of your financial assets and enables you to share your wealth with loved ones as you see fit.
Another aspect of estate planning deals with legal guardianship of minor children. Whether you’re a couple with minor children, or a single parent, your plan should include designating a legal guardian for your kids in the event of your unexpected demise. If a car accident or plane crash were to take your lives, your children will have someone to care for them until they are grown. Funds from your estate can be allocated to covering living expenses for your children until they reach adulthood.
The sooner you put plans in place for your estate, the better. Getting this done early gives you peace of mind that your loved ones will be provided for after you’re gone. You’ll be glad you planned ahead when the time comes.
Micro Estate Planning Explained
Micro estate planning plays an important role in the estate planning process in relation to the care of minor children, as it covers the interim period immediately following your demise. In the event both you and your spouse were to unexpectedly pass on, who would take immediate responsibility for your children until they can be placed in the care of their legal guardian?
Your guardian may live in another city or state, causing a delay of hours or even days before they can assume custody of your kids. They may need to wait until the court releases your children into their care. In the meantime, your children may be placed under the care of child protective services — people they don’t know or may not trust — until your guardian can take over. Your young children won’t understand why they’re being taken from their home and being placed in stranger’s care.
Through micro estate planning, you can provide for your children’s immediate care upon your unexpected demise. You can specify in your will who you want the authorities to call in the event of a tragedy that takes your lives. You may want your children to stay with close friends, people they know and love, until their situation can be worked out. Being with people they know and trust can help reduce the trauma of your children’s loss.
Your estate planning attorney can help you draw up the appropriate legal documents to ensure that authorities will know who to call and where to take your children for short term custody if a tragedy takes your life. You can even give a copy to your short term guardian(s) to present to authorities if the need arises.
Micro estate planning will protect your children’s interests by placing them in loving, trustworthy hands when they need it most.