How nice would it be if your child was born with an operating manual? There are many parenting books out there, but none that are specifically made for your child. The obvious reason for this is because the only person who can write an operating manual for a child, is the person who is raising the child.
This idea really hits home for clients who have a minor child or a child with a disability and are concerned about who is going to love and raise him or her if they are no longer here. In this case, the most important estate planning document is the will. The will allows parents to appoint a guardian for their child if they are no longer able or alive to care for them.
However, establishing a will alone is insufficient. It does not tell the guardian about the child or about how to love and raise him or her.
To supplement the will, our nonprofit, the Heartfelt Legacy Foundation, created a memorandum entitled A Heartfelt Operating Manual. We recommend our clients fill out this memorandum to provide guidance to the appointed guardians in respect to specific child-rearing practices, and important choices and wishes regarding their child’ care - it also serves as a tool for parents to use in discussions with their guardian. The will, the memorandum and a conversation will prepare the guardian to provide what you wish - the best possible care.