From Planning Playdates to Planning Legacies: The Importance of Estate Planning for Parents

As parents, we want to give our children the best possible chance at finding success and happiness. We enroll them in various activities we believe they’ll enjoy while often sacrificing our free time in the process. I don’t mind giving up my free time for my kids

, though. I think one of the greatest joys I experience as a parent is seeing the world through my kids’ eyes. I get to re-experience things from my childhood just by watching my children have fun and play.

Since I have four kids, I spend ample time planning and strategizing to ensure they can participate in everything they want to do. I need to determine what’s age-appropriate and which particular ventures align with their interests. Once I enroll them in their activities, I try to create a balance between downtime, experiencing new things, having fun, and everything else happening in their lives. I know I’m not alone when it comes to planning my kids’ schedules to maximize their happiness and future success.

“Creating an estate plan is like putting on your seat belt before a car accident; you have to do it before the unexpected occurs.”

Although we plan and strategize to help our children and their future, one area often gets left on the back burner. Many parents believe they have time before they need to create an estate plan that protects their and their children’s legacy. We never truly know what tomorrow holds or what life has in store for us. When we’re young and healthy, we like to think we have many years left; God willing, we do. But it’s never guaranteed. Creating an estate plan is like putting on your seat belt before a car accident; you have to do it before the unexpected occurs.

One of the saddest situations that can affect children is when something unexpected happens to their parents without an estate plan designating a new guardian. They end up in foster care, and even if they’re only there for a few nights or a week, it can still be an incredibly traumatic experience for the children. Not only were they ripped from their families, but now, they’re inside a stranger’s home. That’s one of the primary reasons having something set up for your children is so important. The estate planning conversation is not the most fun, but it is one of the most loving things we can do for our families. We assume that we’ll always be there to protect our kids and nothing will happen on our watch, but we can’t predict the future. An estate plan is the closest we can get to preparing for the unexpected.

A significant reason I got into this industry is because I saw what happened to kids after they were placed in foster care. It is my mission to educate families so not only do they know what happens, but also so they can plan for and protect their families. If you have a friend or family member with children who doesn’t have an estate plan, we’d be honored to help them. Now is the time to put a plan in place so you can gain peace of mind for the future!

Andrea Shoup