Sometimes parents of young children are very motivated to do their estate planning because they want to protect their children and make sure that they’re always provided for. And, sometimes, parents of young children are overwhelmed by life and have trouble getting around to doing their estate planning. No matter your life situation, there are 4 important estate planning actions parents of young children need to take.
- Name guardians in your wills
Meet with a qualified estate planning attorney and design your individualized, comprehensive estate plan. Be sure to name guardians (and back up guardians) in your will. You need to name guardians for your minor children’s person and property.
The guardians of the person take physical care of your children, making health care, educational, welfare, and life style decisions on their behalf.
The guardians of the property (or conservators) manage your children’s financial assets on your children’s behalf.
- Analyze your assets
Meet with a qualified estate planning attorney and a financial advisor to be sure that you have enough assets to pass to your minor children to raise them to adulthood. If you don’t have enough assets, consider purchasing life insurance.
- Set up trust shares for your minor children in your revocable living trust
Minor children cannot inherit directly; someone else has to manage assets for them until they come of age. Often, the best way to give and to receive an inheritance is in an asset protected trust. This can protect the assets for your child’s entire lifetime so they can’t be taken by creditors or predators; but the assets are available to be used for your child’s benefit.
- Write an ethical will or family love letter
Be sure to write an ethical will or love letter to your children, no matter their age. An ethical will is a love letter of sorts. You can include whatever message you’d like. Some parents jot down favorite memories and why they love their children. You can include wisdom you’ve attained over the years, your wishes for the future, and any legacy that you’d like to pass to the next generation.
If you are parents of young children, be sure to consult with a qualified estate planning attorney.
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