You took the time to draft a Will and Trust, but did your estate planning attorney have you do an emergency plan? An emergency plan is in addition to your estate plan and it takes care of the timeframe in between the event and going to court. Though for most people emergency planning is a luxury step, for those with children or individuals under their care, emergency planning is a must.
Who is in Charge Here?
When an accident happens, the last thing the police are going to look for is your Will – that is the job of your executor. An emergency plan will tell police who can watch over your children or those under your care while they hunt down the Will.
What Happens without an Emergency Plan?
If you decide to skip the emergency planning portion of estate planning, consider this:
- It takes weeks to months for judges to review your Will – that means your children’s guardians cannot take custody until then.
- Your children will have to go to protective services or foster care until the court can verify and approve their guardians.
- If you are on vacation and your child needs medical care, the doctors or hospital may not treat without your written, in-person consent.
- If you are injured and doctors need to access your medical records, they will be barred due to new HIPAA laws, which mean pertinent information can be left out of their diagnostic decision.
Emergency planning is becoming popular among estate planning attorneys. If you have children or you just need to protect yourself, consider creating an emergency plan on top of your estate plan.