As a parent, life gets more complicated as time goes by. When you start raising a family, you’re not only responsible for taking care of them in the present but also for planning for their future. By doing so, you must have certain legal documents to help protect your family. Unfortunately, many people tend to put off getting these essential documents to avoid the thought of not being around to care for their families anymore. It is not surprising that 68% of Americans pass away without having any wills in place.
However, planning and protecting your family’s future makes it easier for them to have a more comfortable life. Having these important documents can help you protect your children’s finances and make arrangements for their upkeep when you no longer can. Here are some documents you must consider.
1. Financial documents
You are more likely to enter into some transaction on an average day. These could be minor such as purchasing items from a grocery store, or more complicated, such as business contracts and whatnot. As you make financial transactions in your life, there will most likely be a paper trail. And you must keep some of these financial documents on a long-term basis. Typical financial documents should include bank accounts (deposit certificates and safe deposit box keys), insurance policies, real estate documents, collections of personal properties (antiques, artworks, and jewelry), utility bills, and many more. Therefore, ensure that you create a reliable system to help you store them. Most people now prefer to go paperless when storing their financial documents. You must also share your login information with a trusted family member or attorney.
2. Estate planning documents
The future is unpredictable. However, it doesn’t mean you have to leave things to fate. That’s where estate planning comes in. These documents show who you would like to have your money and other assets shared or distributed, making it easier for your family when the time comes.
So, what documents do you need to include in your estate planning document? Ideally, it should include your will, documents related to your business, power of attorney documents, trust agreements, trust fund information, and pre-or post-marital agreements. For each document, you must spell out where the original document is and how to access them. If you don’t have any of these documents, ensure that you consult a probate or estate planning attorney.
3. Medical directive document
Unfortunately, a medical emergency can make you too ill to make decisions about your healthcare. So, even if you aren’t sick now, you must ensure that you have a solid and foolproof plan to get the medical care you want. Some medical decisions to take include using certain life-saving treatments in an emergency. Your medical directive document should cover treatment options such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), ventilators, and artificial nutrition and hydration.
If you are unclear on where to start with a medical directive document, it would be best to speak with your doctor about the state of your health currently. They would be able to help you navigate the process before you put your choices to paper. If you don’t have any medical issues at the moment, you can start by reviewing your family medical history to help you anticipate the future. Your medical directive should also include who you would like to communicate your medical wishes to on your behalf. It could either be your spouse, a trusted relative, or a friend.
4. Temporary guardianship designation
A temporary guardianship document permits a designated trusted individual to act as your child’s guardian if you are not physically capable of doing so. For example, you can grant temporary guardianship to a trusted person if you need to be away from home for an extended period or while you recuperate from a medical procedure.
When selecting the right guardian, you must consider who will be best suited to care for your child. Your child must also feel comfortable with this person and would have ideally spent a lot of time with them. Usually, most parents choose a close relative or friend to act as a guardian. Your guardianship document should be as thorough as possible, including the child’s schedule, medical history, and other important documents.
Caring for your family includes securing their future and ensuring they are safe and comfortable when you can no longer care for them. As a dad, you must prepare and store these documents. You must remember to seek professional assistance to make the process much easier and simpler.