Many people think of an estate plan as something only a senior citizen needs to set up. Unfortunately, that line of thinking can leave minor children without a plan for their future if something happens to both of their parents. If you have children who still live at home or who have special needs, you need to get your estate plan in place now for their benefit.
If one of a child’s parents passes away, the child will most likely be raised by the surviving parent. But, there is a chance that they will go into foster care if there isn’t a plan in place and both of their parents die. Your estate plan can stop your children from having to go through that type of ordeal.
Who will raise your children?
One of the most important components of the estate plan is the guardianship designation. This is the person you choose to raise the children. You need to select someone whom the court will find suitable. You also need to think about whether the person has similar values as you so that your children can grow up in a like manner to what they would have if you were still living.
What financial provisions do you need to make?
Your will can pass down assets for your children. You can also set up trusts, which aren’t handled in open probate court and provide a measure of privacy for the parties involved. Trusts also enable you to establish terms for the beneficiaries to receive the contents. You can also set up the payable on death designations on your financial accounts, including checking, savings and investments, so they can be given to someone who will use them for the children.
How can you ensure your estate is used for your children?
You have the option of naming someone as the trustee over your estate. The person who oversees the financial components can work with the guardian to ensure the children have what they need. This provides a system of checks and balances that reduces the chance of someone using your estate for self-serving purposes.
Your attorney can help you to create an estate plan that will provide as much stability as possible for your children. Just remember that you need to review it periodically to ensure that it still meets the needs of everyone involved and that it accurately relays your wishes.