Most parents prioritize wills, trusts, and estate plans to manage their children’s future. However, a child protection agreement is equally important to safeguard your children’s welfare in case of parental death or incapacitation. Heath Baker is an experienced family attorney who helps families craft elaborate protection agreements for their children. While many wills indicate a “guardian” for the minor child, our Child Protection Agreement creates a plan between you, your child, and multiple friends/family members who agree to provide immediate, temporary, then long term care for your child.
Heath Baker History
This is why I prefer Family Estate Planning over Family Law practice: As I continued my education and training in family law and estate planning over the last several years, it became clear that most estate plans are the same.
It was then that I learned how to make our Family Estate Plans even more child-friendly from another estate planning attorney who also cares about the children. When I explain this, I frequently hear, “Yeah, we have that…” Until they understand what they do not have.
Why You Need a Child Protection Agreement
If you are a parent, you should have an estate plan with a will and a trust. Securing the assets you have earned through life, or the heirlooms that have been passed on through generations is important.
But we like to focus on the protection and safety of the children who may be left behind and their care in the short spans between delicate, vital, and sometimes hostile times. Simply nominating a guardian for your child — like in most plans — may not be enough. Our goal is to keep your children out of the hands of law enforcement, social services, child protective services, foster care, or other members (even family) that you prefer not be directly involved in their lives.
How We Can Help You
In your Family Estate Plan, we will guide you through picking the most suitable guardians for your children. We establish communication with (up to) three choices of your nominations and contact them, with your desire and approval, to confirm their participation when the time is required.
Choosing multiple guardians may be necessary if your initial guardian cannot perform.
What Happens if You Die Without a Child Protection Agreement?
If you do not name a guardian, anyone can petition the Court to take custody of your child. The courts may put the children under Child Protective Services or foster care until the Court decides on an appropriate guardian.
Nominating a guardian takes time and can be confusing; you have to scrutinize several personality traits and behaviors of potential guardians. Speaking with a Family Estate Planning attorney can provide you with more information on how to go about it.
Your Child Protection Agreement will appoint guardians for your child personally, along with alternates. The agreement also provides for a guardian of the child’s finances, along with alternates. The two can be the same, but it often works well if they are different. Talk with a Family Estate Planning attorney about the pros and cons of using the same or different people for these positions. Your guardians will have immediate power of attorney to keep your child in school, keep medical appointments, and maintain legal custody during an already turbulent time.
Law Estate Planning Project Lawyers in Riverside, California
The Child Protection Agreement was created to keep children out of the custody of anyone other than their parents or the named guardians. If you want to protect your children and keep them safe, even during those few minutes when you might not be able to, contact us, and we will help you take care of them. The Law Office of Heath L. Baker is a Family Estate Planning law office and taking care of children is paramount to our team.