Did you know???
- 1 in 9 children experience the loss of a parent by the time they’ve reached the age of 20.*
- 12 in 1000 will experience the loss of both parents by the age of 20.*
If you’re a client of the firm, you know how committed we are to bringing the 3 pillars of excellent legal planning to all families with kids at home. Those pillars are:
1. The exquisite care of our children in an emergency–making sure they are cared for physically, emotionally, and legally when their parents don’t make it back home–and that they do not spend a single second in protective custody or foster care.
2. A carefully crafted estate plan to provide resources in a seamless, life-giving way to our children and their chosen guardians so courts do not have to intervene in our private affairs.
3. Purposefully harvesting parents’ wisdom and stories through an Illumination Interview and Survey to make sure our children have a sense of belonging and of being wanted and loved even in the face of the unthinkable.
The truth is that many estate planners can provide the 2nd pillar with adequate skill. But finding lawyers who can provide the 1st and 3rd pillars is like looking for a needle in a haystack. And then there’s the truth that many families simply cannot afford to hire an attorney to complete just the 2nd pillar known as traditional estate planning.
The 1st and 3rd pillars are the most important aspects of planning to me as a parent and as a lawyer–not to minimize the importance of excellent financial management in a crisis. However, if we can only take care of one thing, it better be that first pillar! So I’ve made a decision to devote myself to bringing this vital legal planning to as many families as possible.
Last week, my husband and I launched a new online legal self-help product to help parents build a nest of safety around their children, from the comfort of their own home without having to hire a lawyer, at a price that everyone can afford. It’s called “CHERP™ – The Children’s Emergency Response Plan.”
This is a separate company that is not a law firm like Hartney Law.
CHERP™ is the first ever direct-to-consumer product for parents and is a complete rethinking of the way I have provided this planning for the last six years from the perspective of first responders who would be responsible for your children’s safety and welfare if something happens to you.
Our goal is to make it easy for police, sheriff, Child Protective Services and other agencies who are responsible for your children to NOT ACT in an emergency. The only way to do that is for PARENTS TO ACT in advance of an emergency by empowering our own friends and family to take legal and physical custody of our children in writing.
I know thinking about this awful scenario is terrifying. I’m a mom too and I’ve experienced that icky butterfly feeling when leaving my children at school or with our nanny–the one that says, “What happens if I don’t make it back?” But we MUST think about it because it does happen and it’s our responsibility to ensure our children are taken care of by the people we appoint, not by the State.
Loss of a parent doesn’t happen often. Thank goodness. But it does happen. If that happens to your family, how do you want your precious little ones to be taken care of? Only YOU can make the best choices for your kids. If you leave it to the State, your children can end up taking a ride in a squad car down to the police station, spending time in foster care, or being placed with someone you would not want them to be with.
One of the critical features of CHERP as we designed it is that you can complete this plan online from the comfort of your home. You can even have the two foundational legal documents witnessed and notarized ONLINE right then and there. All you need is a valid ID, a webcam or smartphone, and a built in mic.
When your legal documents are complete, we will assemble a fully-flushed out emergency response plan that has been thought through from practically every angle. This plan, mailed to your doorstep, will include everything you can imagine to make sure your children do not end up in the wrong hands. The delivered CHERP kit includes:
- Temporary Delegation of Parental Responsibilities (Completed & Notarized)
- Appointment of Long-Term Guardians (Completed & Notarized)
- Babysitter Instructions
- CHERP™ Window Cling Stickers for Auto and Home
- Customized Glove Box Emergency Instructions for Auto
- Customized CHERP™ Checklist for Outside Caregivers
- Squawk! Alert Letter to Parental Delegates Instructing them What to Do in an Emergency
- Customized SquawkScreen Alert Image for Your Cell Phone
- Customized Wallet “In Case of Emergency” Instruction Card
I am absolutely committed to making sure that every parent in America knows what they need to do, understands what they need to understand, and has an accessible method for getting their basic planning for children done.
I hope this product changes the way you view the law, the way you see legal planning, and empowers each and every one of you to make excellent, and tough, decisions for your precious children.
This coming Thursday and Friday, we’re hosting brief 20 minute webinars to share more about what CHERP™ is and how it can support your journey as a parent. If you’d like to know more, please register for either of these two webinars:
CHERP Webinar – What Parents Need to Know
I appreciate every parent who has sought out our law firm in the past for our care, experience, and support. If you’d like to share this email, please feel free to forward it to your friends and family. You can also like our new CHERP Facebook Page, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram.
Please help us spread the word that parents can finally take care of their most important legal business!