Estate planning is important for everyone. It is not something just for older adults to take care of. Younger people tend to think that they do not need to estate plan because they have nothing of value. Other times, younger people think they have all the time in the world to estate plan and it can be put off until later. However, none of really know how much time we have. Tragic accidents happen. Sudden illnesses arise. Neither of these things discriminate based on age. To help plan for the uncontrollable, an estate plan helps secure a future for you and your loved ones that you want.
Estate Planning When You Have Young Children
Estate planning has an added level of importance when talking about those people who have young children. In your estate planning documents, such as your will, you are able to name a guardian for your children in the event that you and the other parent pass away or become incapacitated. Should you and the other parent become unavailable to raise your children, your children would need a guardian. The local court would be tasked with appointing the guardian. Unless there was a serious problem with the person you named, the person you named in your will would be appointed by the court to take on the role of guardian of your children. Without your wishes being expressed in your will, the court would essentially have to select a guardian on its own.
You will also need to consider how your assets will be transferred to your children. Without an estate plan, any assets of the parents’ estate would be held in account for the minor child. The child would be able to request distributions from the account via the guardian, who would then need court approval. Once the child reached the age of majority, generally this is the age of 18, the minor would receive all of the assets all at once. In certain cases, this may be a substantial amount of money. Receiving all of it at once could lead to it quickly being spent. With estate planning, these assets could be placed in a minor’s trust where a trustee would be tasked with managing and investing the trust assets. The trust contents would then be distributed to the minor child according to the terms of the trust. This would allow you to set a schedule of distributions. You could even make it an “incentive trust” which would mean that the beneficiary would not gain control of the assets held in trust until a certain condition, such as college graduation, was fulfilled.
Essentially, estate planning, when you have young children, allows you an important opportunity to consider who will care for your children should you be unable to do so yourself. It also allows you to consider how to financially provide for your children should you not be around to do so directly yourself. Estate planning and putting legal tools in place to accomplish your goals for your children and their care.
Estate Planning Attorney
The dedicated estate planning team at Verras Law is here to help you create an estate plan that protects your future and that of the ones you love the most. We draft estate plans with your personal circumstances at heart. Contact Verras Law today.