Estate Planning For Children, Families And Pets

Serving Clients in Sioux Falls and The Surrounding Area

It’s not something you want to contemplate, but if you are the parent of minor children you must consider what will happen to them if you suddenly pass away. You need to ask yourself:

  • Who will be responsible for raising my children?
  • Where will my children live and how will they be educated?
  • Does the guardian or conservator I name for my children actually have the desire, resources and demeanor to take care of them?
  • How can I ensure that my wishes for my children’s care will be carried out?

If you have not appointed a guardian for your children, they may be placed with someone you would never in your wildest dreams have wanted.

We can help you choose and appoint the ideal guardian and/or conservator for your children. We can also help you ensure that any inheritance will be properly managed for your children’s health, education, maintenance and support rather than distributed outright to the children at age 18.  We strongly believe that parents should decide at what age and how assets should be used rather than the state making these important decisions for them.  That way, if tragedy strikes, someone you trust will be able to look after your children and provide the love and care they need as you directed in your Will.

Contact us today for a complimentary consultation to discuss how to plan for your minor children. We can design and implement a customized plan capable of protecting them while they are minors and safeguarding their inheritances when they become legal adults.

College Kits

While your children may be financially dependent on you when they go off to college, if they are over 18 the law considers them to be adults. This means that you are no longer “automatically” entitled to information about their medical condition or have a say in how they will be cared for in an emergency. So if your child gets sick or is injured while away at college, you will not be able to get detailed information about his or her condition or care. We can help you prepare the documents you need in advance, such as powers of attorney and advance healthcare directives, to ensure you will have access to all the information about your children’s medical and financial situation, as well as how they will be cared for in an emergency. Our College Kits provide your adult children with an emergency medical card to keep in their wallets. And in the process, allow you to sleep better at night while your kids are away at school.

Planning for Adult Children

Even after your children are grown and have moved out of the family home, you still worry about them. And why not? Regardless of how old they are, they will always remain your children. Fortunately, your estate plan can be designed to protect their interests and guard against potential threats in the future. Unstable job markets, divorce and lawsuits are all commonplace in our society. Without proper planning, your children’s inheritances could wind up in the hands of bankruptcy trustees, creditors, or a child’s ex-spouse. We can design and implement a plan to protect your children’s inheritances from threats like these, including their own poor decisions if they are not responsible enough to handle an inheritance on their own.

Planning for Families

Every family is unique: there are traditional, nuclear families; blended families; single-parent families; and families started by unmarried couples. Each and every family deserves the best possible plan when it comes to protecting loved ones.  Whatever your family situation, we are dedicated to designing and implementing a plan tailored to your specific needs and goals. We consider it an honor and a privilege to properly protect the people you love and the assets you own.

Planning for Pets

While dogs are often referred to as man’s best friend, and cat owners may dispute this designation, there is little doubt that Americans love their pets. The question is, how can you protect and care for your beloved animal companion when you are no longer able to do so? A trust can provide the answer. The main objective of using a trust to care for your pet is to provide a flexible method for managing financial assets for the benefit of any pets that survive you. The appropriate amount of money to fund the trust varies widely depending on your pet’s age, condition and needs.

With a properly designed trust, you can designate a party to act as “caregiver” for your pet. In addition, your trust can provide detailed instructions to your caregiver. This can include everything from your pet’s favorite food and toys to his or her sleeping arrangements. In short, a pet trust is the best possible “treat” you can give your pet, one that will last a lifetime.