Now that the kids are back in school all of us are able to take the breather we need after the chaos of winter break. While having our families around us is wonderful, and one my favorite parts of winter break, it doesn’t leave much time for getting anything done outside of immediate daily activities.

Even it’s just fifteen minutes each morning after the kids are of the way to school, each of us can reclaim a few minutes in our day. After we settle back into our normal routine, let’s use this time to think about the planning we need to protect our kids. All of us need to make sure our New York estate planning is up-to-date and, when it comes to planning for families, these are my top three planning tips:

1. Emergency contacts at school and at home.

When was the last time you checked in on the emergency contact list at the school? While most of us provide this information at the start of the year, it never hurts to check in and make sure the school has all the correct information. Also, make sure that the information you provide is in line with your estate planning documents. Often, I see families who have very different school records and estate planning initiatives.

2. Family preparedness plan.

Make sure everyone who is an emergency contact knows he or she is an emergency contact. You can never provide too much information to people who will be on a position to make decisions on your behalf in a crisis. Consider having a family meeting in the new year to discuss everyone’s roles or creating a shared document of important contact information so everyone has the information they need in easy reach.

3. Talking to older kids.

Think about when will be the right time in your family to talk to older kids about these choices. This will depend on the maturity of your child but when it is appropriate you want him or her to have an idea of your plans should a crisis happen. It can be as simple as saying, “If I can’t pick you up from school Aunt Sally will be there,” to give your kids the peace of mind that comes from what happens should they not see you on a given day. For older kids, it may be time to share parts of your estate plan with them.

Need help deciding who should be in charge of your children if you cannot be? Contact us to schedule an appointment to discuss your planning. You can also download our free resourceTips for Choosing a Guardian.