Tips for Choosing a Guardian for Your Children
Though it is difficult to think about how you could possibly not be around to raise your own children one
day, it is important to keep in mind that the guardian you select will. Therefore, you need to nominate
someone you trust and who will be a good influence on your children. If you are facing the task of
selecting a guardian, consider a few of these tips:
It’s not Always the Most Obvious Choice
It is a common misconception that guardians need to be family. If you have friends who are more
suitable, they should be on your list.
Finances Should not be the Deciding Factor
You should not omit a great guardian because you think the person cannot financially provide. When
you create a will and trust, you can ensure that your children are financially provided for regardless of
the guardian selected.
The person selected to be a guardian of your children should share values and philosophies with you and
your spouse. You want your children to be raised in a home similar to yours and with similar values, not
by someone who will not respect your method of parenting.
In the end, the guardian or guardians you choose should be people you trust and respect. Your children
should know them and feel comfortable around them. By taking the time to select the right guardian,
you can rest assured that your children will be cared for when you are no longer able to care for them.
Experienced estate planning attorneys Brooklyn NY of the Minko Law Office offers estate planning and
business planning resources to residents of Brooklyn NY. To learn more about these free resources,
please visit www.minkolaw.com/ today.
Starting College? Where Is Your Power of Attorney?
With college courses starting up and everyone heading back to school, it is important for college-bound
students to take care of one more thing before heading off: powers of attorney.
18 Means No Access
What most parents, and college students, do not realize is that when a person turns 18, their parents no
longer have a legal right to their medical records or to even make healthcare decisions on their behalf.
Therefore, parents and college students need to prepare three essential documents:
1. Healthcare Directive
2. HIPAA Release
3. Powers of Attorney
These three essential documents will appoint a person to be in charge of the college student’s
healthcare and medical and financial well-being. In case tragedy strikes, parents and college students
need to know they are cared for and things have been planned with their best interest in mind.
What Happens without Powers of Attorney?
When college students do not have the three essential documents, their healthcare and medical-related
decisions are in the hands of the physicians treating them. Though this issue can be taken to court, it can
take weeks if not months to resolve.
Therefore, if you or your child is headed off to college, make a stop at your estate planning attorney’s
office and create those three essential documents for a little peace of mind.
Twitter, YouTube, Facebook— What Happens to it When You Die?
Today, just about everyone has a social media presence of some kind. Whether their use is highly active
or casual, these social media sites become digital assets. So what happens to these “assets” when you
Unfortunately, the law has not kept up with technology; it views digital assets as useless web space. The
court cannot appoint a beneficiary or determine what happens to your digital assets. Even the executor
of your estate will not have automatic access or rights to these assets. That means your will needs to
specifically grant that access.
What Is the Value in Digital Assets?
There may not be a monetary value in digital assets, but there is a sentimental one. Photographs can be
stored on social media and cloud storage sites, videos can be posted on YouTube and blogs and
freelance writers’ work can be found on hard drives.
All of these digital assets have value to someone. So even if you think your social media, storage and
computer devices are valueless, consider creating a section of your will that addresses your digital assets
and, more important, what you want to happen to them in the future.
Who Has Control of “You” after You Die?
You’ve gone through estate planning and decided who controls your assets and debts and even who will
watch your children, but what about you? When you die, who will be in charge of your remains and be
responsible for carrying out your wishes regarding them? It is up to you to decide who is in charge of
you, yet most people forget this step during estate planning.
What Happens When No One Is in Charge?
If no one is appointed during estate planning, the state will automatically give authority to particular
persons in order of priority:
Your surviving spouse
Your surviving children
Your surviving parents
Your surviving siblings
Next of kin
The closest cemetery if there are no living relatives
If you do not decide who is in charge, the courts will not only appoint a person but allow that person to
decide how to take care of your remains. That means that if you wanted to be buried, but did not
specify, you could be cremated instead.
It is a rather quick part of estate planning to select what happens to you after you die. So make sure
your estate planning professional includes it and ensure that your wishes for “you” are carried out after
you pass away.