At the beginning of 2006 Wendy and I had a one-year-old son who had almost succumbed to RSV, pneumonia and the influenza as an infant a year earlier when I was right in the middle of a high drama civil jury trial involving a murder.
While I loved the thrill of the courtroom, after 10 years I knew the time had arrived to hang up my briefcase so I could have more control over my schedule.
Through a family connection, an attorney with a 20-year estate planning practice let me know he was interested in taking me on as a law partner to help grow his firm and asked if I was interested in talking.
We met and ultimately decided it was a fit so decided to form our partnership.
The first thing we needed to do was decide on the legal structure of our new venture.
I remember sitting down in the conference room with a blank sheet of paper in front of us as we began to sketch out what our new law firm would look like.
Then something really bad happened that will be etched in my memory forever. My law partner asked me, “So, what’s the name of your trust?” Me: “Uhhh…” He looked at me. (I can still see the confused expression on his face.)
“Ok, you have a will don’t you?”
I will never forget the embarassment – no, the shame – that washed over me.
I confessed that as an experienced attorney with six young children, Wendy and I had never even executed Wills to name legal guardians for our 6 children if something happened to us. Then the bottom fell out from under me when the realization hit. My new partner was aware that my own father was an estate planning attorney!
Yup. As an experienced attorney with 6 children, when I was about to begin advising clients on estate planning matters, and with an estate planning attorney for a father, I had not even completed a Will to name legal guardians for my 6 children.
Even worse yet, and what my new partner didn’t know but probably guessed, was that my dad had tried several times to get Wendy and me in to create our Wills but we never took the time to do it.
(I should point out that my dad was a “one-man shop” content with a solo law practice. That’s why there was not an opportunity with my dad.)
As you can imagine, I was embarrassed and desperate. But I wasn’t ready to give up on my goal of helping my future clients protect their families better than I had protected my own to that point.
Luckily, my new law partner was a patient and understanding man and quickly made the first order of business of our partnership to help Wendy and me complete our Wills to designate legal guardians for our children.
This embarrassing experience caused me to reflect on the reasons why Wendy and I didn’t designate legal guardians sooner when it was easier for us than anybody!
As I pondered that question over the years while practicing in a traditional estate planning law firm setting I finally realized something. Wendy and I were simply busy parents of young children.
Wendy and I were both making sacrifices raising a large family as I was getting established in my career as a trial attorney. We were doing our best trying to…
stay on top of the perpetual mound of laundry…
and keep the house clean…
and prepare meals… and take care of sick children… and work on our marriage… and help out at church… and get homework done… and make lunches… and take the kids to school… and get the kids to basketball, piano, and violin after school…
Our problem wasn’t even a shortage of candidates who would be willing to be our children’s legal guardians. We had a strong pool of possible choices. And our problem certainly wasn’t the cost. My dad was willing to do it for free!
We were simply busy parents of young children.
And then I thought, what a difference it would make if I could come up with an affordable way for busy parents to designate legal guardians for their children using their devices and in the comfort of their own home!
Once I realized I could make the process of designating legal guardians more accessible and affordable by leveraging our electronic devices, that’s when I started to understand that I could help busy parents of young children do this.
I used my newfound insight to create an estate planning system that: – makes it possible for busy parents of young children to designate legal guardians for their children in the comfort of their own home – makes designating legal guardians affordable for busy parents of young children without sacrificing the attorney-client relationship (unlike online document preparation services, you get the advantages of the expertise, privileges, and protections that come with an attorney-client relationship) – facilitates efficient communication and exchange of information with busy parents of young children on their devices to expedite completion of their estate planning documents – includes educational videos that can be viewed on their devices to help busy parents of young children understand their estate plan at their convenience.
You will find that once you complete the process of naming legal guardians for your minor children, you will experience additional peace of mind you didn’t have before.
When you leave the children to go on a Friday night date, a weekend get-a-way or an extended vacation, you can do so knowing that if the unexpected were to happen, your children would be loved and cared for by those YOU choose, instead of letting the government make that decision for you.
This is a very specific program that makes naming legal guardians accessible and affordable for parents of young children. If you would like information on the My Guardian Angel Plan, please call or email us.
800 674 3582