If you have young children, this is the right time for estate planning.
With proper estate planning, parents can plan for the care of their children, direct how property will be transferred, name the person who will handle the business affairs of the estate, and name the person who will handle the children’s property.
No one wants to think about death, but estate planning can reduce fears. You can direct what will happen in the event of your death. Failure to plan ahead can result in a court making decisions that you would not have wanted.
A natural parent is a natural guardian, but if there is no natural guardian, one can be named in a will. You should think about the potential guardian’s lifestyle, age, and ability to manage young children and/or teenagers. It is also a good idea to name an alternate.
Questions the planning process will help you consider and and provide for in your estate plan might include:
- What property will be available to provide food, clothing and shelter?
- Does your home have a mortgage?
- Do you have other assets that can be used to provide for the children?
- Have you looked into the many varieties of insurance?
- Have you developed a financial plan in the event of your death?
- Who will manage the children’s property?
In addition to a guardian, you should decide on someone who will be able to manage the children’s property. You can put assets into a trust which will be managed by a Trustee, as you direct. You can list priorities such as the children’s education, or provide for a child’s special needs. You can set the age at which each child will have independent access to funds in the trust. A trust provides flexibility for you to direct the disposition of your assets.
The real purpose of planning ahead is peace of mind.