Estate Planning: The Cinderella Story

When many of us can recall the tale of Cinderella; remembering the pumpkin that turned into a carriage or the glass slipper or even the evil step mother. We quickly visualize the two evil step sisters who do their mothers cruel bidding, and ultimately Cinderella is treated as the scum of the earth, if even that. There is part of the story that is usually forgotten though—the beginning. While it is a wonderful thing to remember the happy endings of love and Prince Charming, if we forget where Cinderella came from the story loses some of its true magic. Cinderella was born to a loving mother and father, and yet due to unforeseen circumstances she lost her at a very young age in life.

Just a few years down the road her father then chose to remarry, to a woman who brought into the family another 2 daughters who were close to Cinderella's age. Sadly, her father dies not long after and Cinderella is still a young girl. As any husband would likely do, he left his estate in the control of his now widow and Cinderella's step mother. Likely thinking that it was a good idea, the father probably could not foresee what was to become of his beloved daughter in the hands of this evil woman. Cinderella reaped nothing from the estate, and was essentially forced into becoming a servant as opposed to being treated as the daughter of the owner of the estate.

While it might appear to be that of which could only happen in a fairy tale, the idea of child subjugation is not unheard of. In Cinderella's case she became a servant of the home who received nothing apart from the minimal food and clothing for survival. This step mother took control of all that should have been shared with the daughter, therefore depriving her of receiving the assets that were rightfully hers in the event of her father's death. Perhaps Cinderella would not have received the assets yet, but under the care of her step mother, she was to never inherit anything.

It is very possible that the father in the story of Cinderella, believed his wife would care for his girl and therefore provide for her what she desired over the years. Little did he know of what was to actually occur. While this story may have been fictional in essence, there are many children all over the world who are being taken advantage of like this Disney character. There are families who do not properly plan their estate before they die and therefore cause their own children to be deprived of what is rightfully theirs in an inheritance. In many cases today there will be close family members (stepmothers or someone else that is close in kin) who will seek to assume the trustee title in order to protect the children of the dead parents. While proving to the court that the kids best interests are in mind, there can be ulterior motives for these people.

For the sake of your children and their future, estate planning is a way to protect them from not only being taken advantage of by an assumed trustee in the future. By contacting a probate attorney in your area today, you will have the chance to lay out very specific ground rules for your assets, your estate and how your children will be cared for. While no person really looks forward to this planning step, it is an important task to accomplish before it is too late. As Cinderella lost her parents in the blink of an eye, so also can your life come to an end too before you are ready. If you have young or old children; by planning your estate early you can protect their futures. Don't wait another moment to start the process, call an estate planning attorney in your area today!