Family Wealth and Estate Planning News You Can Use
Battle over Michael Jackson’s Children, Estate is Wakeup Call for Unprepared Parents by Alexis Martin Neely
If anything good can come out of Michael Jackson’s untimely death, it would have to be the universal wake-up call to parents around the globe screaming, “You must name guardians for your children in the event of your death of incapacity!”
With a custody battle brewing between the Jackson Family, Michael’s nannie and the biological mother of Michael’s children (Debbie Rowe), in addition to the battle between creditors over his estate, news outlets are finally reporting on absolute necessity of estate planning, and what the absence of it could mean for parents across the globe.
Parents rich and poor, young and old must realize that it’s time to put the “It won’t happen to me” or “I’ll worry about it later” mentally aside when it comes to estate planning and doing what’s necessary to protect your kids.
Michael Jackson had a slew of Hollywood lawyers that handled his affairs at every turn. You would think someone, somewhere would have taken the time to explain exactly what would happen to his children if he passed away suddenly—or even found himself unable to care for the kids because of drug problems or complications from Lupis.
Clearly, if Michael Jackson’s estate planning could fall through the cracks, imagine the millions of people that would find themselves legally unprepared should the worst happen to them or someone they love.
Unfortunately, no one can predict how or when they will die- but we can dictate how our children and our assets will be handled after our death through estate planning.
One of the common myths about estate planning is that “It’s just for rich people” or “it’s only necessary for older people”—but neither of these excuses can be any further than the truth!
The truth is, if you have a child, you need to undergo some form of estate planning to protect your family (which at a bare minimum includes naming short term guardians for your kids in the event of your death or incapacity).
It doesn’t matter how old you are or how close you are with your family, if you don’t put guardianship decisions in writing, your child could end up in a very messy custody battle—or even worse—in the hands of the state!
Naming guardians for kids is so vitally important that we’ve created the kidsprotectionplan.com site so parents could name guardians free of charge without ever stepping foot in a lawyer’s office.
Yet for those people who now realize they need something more comprehensive to protect their assets, we’ve developed the Personal Family Lawyer program to give families access to an affordable relationship for life with an estate planning lawyer in their own neighborhood.
And because of the affordable nature of these resources (or FREE nature in the event of kidsprotectionplan.com ), there is no excuse to leave your family unprotected in the event of your death or incapacity.
So use this horrible event as a wakeup call and take control of your future! Make it known with documentation who you want to raise your children if something ever happened to you. Take the time to document the values you’d want passed on to your kids and how you’d want them to be raised if you were no longer around.
Do these things NOW before it’s too late, or the court may end up making these choices for you, to the detriment of your kids.