Here’s the deal Moms and Dads … you have all had the “what if’s” crawl in your head. I know you have. It’s human nature. Worst part is, when you become a parent, those “what ifs” get worse and worse and worse and somehow you even get a little morbid. I know, you totally agree with me. It’s not weird. It’s called being a Parent.
Want to know where I am going with this? Well hold on, I need to vent!
It really started in November … I had just read about these two young girls who were in a car accident with their parents and are now orphans. I don’t want to go into the story, it’s way too emotional. And then my husband and I were going on our first alone vacation to Cabo shortly after, yes … with no kids. I freaked out! I had nothing planned for my children if that stupid “what if” actually happened. For the last four years (very rarely) I have been telling my husband, Zac, that we need to set up a trust. I wanted to make sure that Dylan and Madison were set if Gawd forbid a “what if” happened. Well, someone told me to just write down my wishes and title it a Will. You know, put it all on paper and both of you sign it? So … we did. Want to know where it is? I HAVE NO CLUE! Want to know something crazy? If a “what if” happened to you, do you think a family member of yours or a friend of yours will find it? Ummm … NO! They won’t. And that’s where the fighting begins. Actually, even if they found this janky piece of paper, someone will think they will do a better job then the other family member and say something stupid like, “they must have wrote that 4 years ago, and things have changed and I don’t think that’s what they want anymore.” Listen, people get crazy when emotions run high. Being in Real Estate I have seen the worst of people when there has been a death and people fight for kids, money, homes, etc. Who wants a fight? Who wants the unknown? And notice something here? I am completely “what if-ing” right now! Ugh.
In the most recent tragedy in our Country I find it completely relevant and appropriate to make sure that you and your family are taken care of in the awful case that something were to happen.
Get yourself a Trust. TRUST ME! It’s worth every penny. Don’t try and do this online and print it out. If you are going to do it, do it right. You need to call an Attorney who specializes in Estate Planning. Do not be discouraged if you don’t have money in the bank, if you don’t own a home or if you don’t have family close by. None of these things matter. THE ONLY THING THAT MATTERS is if a “what if” was to occur and your children were left behind to make decisions for themselves or were to become an orphan, it would only make things worse for them in time of tragedy. Make the decisions for them now. Have everything documented now. Not only will you get a copy of your Will, Power of Attorney and Healthcare Directive … but you can do what I did and just email your family, or whoever you named in your Estate Plan, all your Attorney’s information as they have a copy as well.
I know that my husband and I are safe. I am sure nothing will happen for a long time … we all hope for that. But if that “what if” happens to either of us, we have already made all the decisions that will best fit ourselves and our children. We know who they will live with, who will handle their finances and that everyone will be loved and in good hands.
There is only one Attorney I would recommend for this – she is a fellow Mom, a very intelligent woman, she takes you by the hand and leads you in the right direction. When you start to feel too morbid and uncomfortable doing this, she gets you back on track and reminds you that it’s the opposite of morbid. It took me too long to do this for my family. It even took me too long to write this post. I regret not doing it sooner. She helped me the entire way and has the patience of a Saint. And major bonus … she is HALF the price of any other Attorney out there. I can promise you this, you will thank me later!
Julie S. Berkus, Attorney – 818.986.8080 or firstname.lastname@example.org
She is with the Estate Planning Law Firm of Oldman, Cooley, Sallus, Gold, Birnberg & Coleman, L.L.P.
CLICK HERE for their website.
Do me one favor, at least email her right this minute or call her immediately and just ask the questions you might have. That is the least you can do for your children. Then make a decision.
Please make sure to tell Julie that The Valley Mom sent you for the fellow Mommy discount! ;)