Buffalo Kids Protection Planning Lawyer
Parents worry about their kids. We can worry about everything from what happens when they get sent off to school for the day to what their futures will look like. It’s part of the job description of being a parent. One of the hardest things to worry about is how our children will be cared for if something happens to us. Who will raise them and how will they be cared for financially?
Having a will is a good and necessary start, but it’s not enough. A Buffalo kids protection planning attorney from our office is will work with you to answer those difficult questions, and then put those answers into a legally enforceable document.
DePrima Law has over 18 years of experience helping clients with difficult and sensitive legal issues regarding their children. Call our Buffalo office today at (716) 638-2633 or contact us online to set up a consultation.
What Happens Without Kids Protection Planning
Perhaps the best way to illustrate the need for kids protection planning is to think about what might happen if a parent’s wishes aren’t put on paper. That means we have to think about some very painful scenarios–but fear not, we’re also going to get to real solutions on the far side.
The Scenario We Don’t Want To Think About
A person and, if applicable, their spouse, suffer a fatal tragedy. Maybe it’s an accident that happens in the blink of an eye or maybe it was an illness that progressed. In either case, the children no longer have parents. Where do the kids go?
In the short-term, the police will take them into Protective Services. Yes, children will go into “the system.” They won’t necessarily stay there–that decision comes later. But until a court can award permanent guardianship, the state of New York is responsible for the orphaned children.
In the long-term, the court must decide who gets custody of the kids. Some parents may have appointed godparents for their children. Unfortunately, naming a godparent is not a legally binding decision. A court might give it some consideration, but it’s entirely at the discretion of the judge and in no way legally binding.
Family members are a natural starting point for a court to consider. But the differences within a family are often considerable. Siblings might love each other but have very different values and ideas on how to raise children. And there are situations where adult siblings simply don’t have a relationship. What happens if the court decides to place the children with someone whose values run completely counter to those of the parents, or someone in whom the parents otherwise lack confidence?
It’s not far-fetched. There could be an aunt and uncle who have two children and make a comfortable living but have values that are diametrically opposed to the parents. Another aunt, the sibling of the parents, might be young and single, but have values that are aligned with those of the parents. Without kids protection planning, there’s a good chance the court will choose the financially comfortable and parenting-experienced aunt and uncle despite the fact that they wouldn’t have been the parents’ choice.
Then there’s the matter of money. The parents might own a house and have life insurance, along with other assets. But minor children don’t have immediate, protected access to those assets. Without kids protection planning, the people who will take over raising the kids also lack access to these needed funds.
It’s possible this can work itself out–but at minimum, there will be the costs of going through Probate Court. Legal fees can eat into money that is meant for the kids and their new guardian.
When the inheritance does get through Probate, it will all be on the public record–meaning anyone can look at court records and see that the children have inherited a substantial amount of money. Now there’s a possible safety concern. Furthermore, without proper kids protection planning, the children can get control of all the money at the age of 18, regardless of whether they are ready to handle a significant sum.
When a legally enforceable plan is not on record, there is really no good outcome to this entire process. There are only some outcomes that are less egregious than others. That’s the bad news.
The good news is this–a Buffalo kids protection planning attorney can get a parent’s wishes into enforceable legal documents that will smooth the path for the right guardians to take custody of the children and protect the inheritance.
The first part of a kids protection plan is to choose the preferred friend or family member to take custody of the children. For further security, we recommend listing at least two more people so the courts have a 1-2-3 order of preference to look at.
It’s possible that the choices might live far away. Maybe it’s across the country or maybe it’s in upstate New York. In either case, they won’t be able to get to the children immediately after a tragic event. In their absence, the kids can still be temporarily put in the system. To avoid this, choose another 1-2-3 list of people who live within a 20-minute drive and can immediately care for your children in the interim.
Get started and name guardians for free: https://deprimalaw.kidsprotectionplan.com/
Conservatorship is the legal term describing the person who will manage the financial assets of the children in the absence of their parent(s). The conservator and the guardian are often the same people, although it is not strictly necessary for them to be. Parents with large holdings might wish to put certain assets under the control of someone with the requisite financial experience.
Parents may also choose to establish a trust for their children. This allows all the parents’ assets to pass immediately into the trust upon their death, meaning Probate Court is bypassed. Parents can then designate a trustee to manage the trust and distribute income to the children at appropriate times. There is a lot of flexibility in how trusts are structured and an experienced Buffalo kids protection planning attorney can guide you in the direction that’s best for you and your family.
DePrima Law has worked with clients on estate planning for over 18 years. Our lawyers firmly believe that estate planning and kids protection planning should be regularly reviewed. Children get older and their needs change. Parental desires for guardianship and conservatorship can evolve. The amount of assets the parents own can change. The kids protection plan has to reflect all of that, and DePrima Law wants to go on that special journey with our clients.
Directly Working With Attorney DePrimaYou will work side-by-side with Attorney DePrima and receive follow-ups directly from her.
Advocating for Your Best InterestsWe're ready to litigate in a courtroom or speak to your needs and goals in a mediation room.
Focused On SolutionsOur goal is to help you and your family reach an amicable resolution in a timely manner and protect the people you love and keep them out of court.