Gabriel Katzner - February 2, 2016 - Estate Planning

As parents, we know that every child is different. Siblings have different likes and dislikes, hopes and dreams, fears and concerns. It’s sometimes a wonder that they came from the same parents!

I remember the day my wife and I took our son Owen home from the hospital. After a short nap, he woke up and cried and cried. Nothing would satisfy him.  When we brought our daughter Lila home, it was the opposite.  She rarely cried, and simply being picked up and cuddled would put her back to sleep. Now they’re older, and Owen loves certain things Lila wants no part of and vice versa.  It makes me laugh, but it also makes me think.

As parents, we know what makes our children tick. Time passes, and our children grow. We grow with them. We see their strengths, likes, and dislikes, and if we’ve been blessed with more than one child, we learn to appreciate their differences.  What makes them unique? What will comfort them after a bad day? Maybe what works for one won’t work for the other. You are one of the few people in this world who truly understand what makes your child tick. But what happens should something suddenly happen to you, and you die? How would someone know how your children want to be cared for and, just as important, how you want your children cared for and raised?

Someone is going to have to be named guardian of your children and raise them to adulthood. The knowledge you have accumulated through your love and hard work would be invaluable to them. But you’re no longer around to pass along this knowledge. In my practice, we have a process that allows you to pass on all you have learned as a parent. It’s a process that goes far beyond putting in place legal documents to name a guardian. At the end of the process, should something happen to you, your guardian will understand your children’s likes and dislikes.  How they are best comforted. Maybe even deeper into your heart, they will know the religious upbringing, morals, and other values you want to be instilled in your children.

How do we do all this? Through preparing instructions, both written and recorded. As a parent, it’s very important to provide instructions to the guardian of your children. Your guardians will appreciate having your guidance when raising your children. The individual you have chosen as guardian will be crushed by your death, but having your guidance will not only assist them in raising your children, but they’ll also find solace in your continuing to live on. Recordings are especially important. Hearing your voice, and listening to your guidance, will allow your children to grow with you even once you’re gone. Work of this sort, and not mere document production, is why I love the work I do. I hope you have found this information helpful, and thanks for reading it.

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