3 Reasons Why Young Parents Aren’t Protecting Their Kids

 
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Millennials are parenting differently from yours. We're letting it go like Elsa.

According to a parenting trend study published by Care.com, this new breed of parents want their kids to be independent and to make their own decisions with limited supervision.

Millennial parents are frequently asking themselves “how do we let our kids be themselves?” But the more important question should be “what can we do right now to protect them if something happens to us?”

No one likes to talk about death and disability, but good parenting requires us to do so.

These are the tough questions that young parents should be asking: Who will raise our kids if something happens to us, and how do we make sure they won’t end up in foster care? Who will manage our money and use it productively for our kids' basic needs and education?

But Millennial parents aren't thinking about these questions and they don't have a plan to protect their kids. 

Here are 3 reasons why:

#1: You think your disability and death are light years away.

For good reason, we don’t worry about our demise. We’re betting that technology and our healthy lifestyles will help us thrive into our 100s.

But that optimism is a crutch, not a blessing. The feeling of invincibility makes us save less for retirement and delay planning for our mortality.

Accidents and illnesses happen to the best of us. Make sure you have a plan to ensure your kids will be more than just okay if you’re not around.

#2: No one’s teaching you.

If you asked the average Millennial parent what “estate planning” is, they won’t have a clue. Or they think it’s only for their parents and grandparents.

As a parent, you need to understanding the benefits of estate planning and the consequences of not having one. Your estate plan will protect you and your kids in times of need. Click here to learn the basics of estate planning.

#3: You assume your family will take care of your kids.

One of your biggest parenting mistakes is not having an emergency guardian to raise your kids. The law doesn’t give your parents or siblings automatic custody over them.  

You should choose your kids’ guardian in advance. This ensures the person you trust most will likely have legal custody over your kids if the worst happens. A judge will give your choice first consideration.

If you don't select a guardian, two terrible things could happen to your kids. First, they could be in an ugly court battle over which family member should raise them. And second, your kids could end up in foster care.

So here’s what you should do right now:

  1. Carefully choose one or two trusted people to raise your kids if needed.
  2. Talk to them to make sure they’re willing to do so.
  3. Write a will and list them as your preferred guardian for your kids.
  4. Write a sweet letter to your kids and place it in your will.

Your kids are most precious to you, so don't leave their future to chance and assumptions.

Like Lao Tzu said, "Prepare for what is difficult while it is still easy."

If you have a question, gives us a call at (626) 307-2800.

- Edmund Yan, Los Angeles Wills & Trusts Lawyer

P.S. For our Mandarin-speaking viewers, you can learn more about estate planning, wills, and trusts at our Chinese website: 信托律师,遗嘱律师 and Los Angeles Chinese Wills & Trusts Lawyer.