The definition of Estate Planning as we practice it: 

I want to control my property while I’m alive and well,

plan for me and my loved ones if I become disabled,

Give what I have to whom I want, when I want and in the way I want,

All while assuring my wisdom is transferred along with the rest of my wealth.

The Babysitter Story

As a parent you want what is best for your children. Do you recall the very first time you hired a babysitter for your children? My Wife and I were just like everyone else when we planned for a two to three hour date. Before we went to dinner and a movie we carefully screened candidates. Much thought and planning went into the decision as to who we were going to trust with our young son. When we decided upon the babysitter the real planning started. We provided her with the name and telephone number of the restaurant and the movie theater. No cell phones twenty-two years ago. We provided a list with the names and telephone numbers of the nearby grandparents, several Aunts who were close by, neighbors, and even the telephone number for the Grandma four hundred miles away.

We provided a list of everything that might be needed to care for our son:

  • Diapers;
  • Baby wipes;
  • Clean clothes;
  • Pajamas;
  • Baby formula;

Instructions as to how to properly boil the baby bottles, prepare the formula, and how to determine the right temperature for the formula. Instructions were prepared for anything that might conceivably happen while we were gone for two to three hours. Lots of planning for that first babysitter experience.  Instructions and directions stayed in place every time we hired a babysitter thereafter.

When we got to the restaurant we had to call home to make sure all was okay.

All parents have done this type of planning for a two to three hour event. The question is: What have you done to plan for your children when you are gone forever? Have you prepared an Estate Plan? Do you want the judge to appoint the guardians and trustees for your children or do you want to choose who will care for your children? You can’t call home once you are gone forever. The Three Step Strategy process will help you plan for your children after you are gone permanently.

(by Charles E. Dorwart, Member of the National Network of Estate Planning Attorneys)