Estate planning is the farthest thing from your mind when you are a new family just starting out. As a young family, you may not be considering an estate plan as you don’t have as many assets that would need to be sorted out if you were to pass. One important thing that may have slipped your mind is the importance of estate plan so there is a plan for your children should you pass away unexpectedly. There are many things that must be taken into consideration when creating an estate plan to include your minor children.
Who Will Raise Your Children?
The primary reason to create an estate plan is so that there is a legal document outlining who will take care of your children if you were to pass away. As difficult as it may be to consider such a tragedy, failure to make a plan around this will put the decision in the hands of the state if you and your partner were to die at the same time. Your loved ones know you and your children best. Wouldn’t you prefer that they managed the process as opposed to the courts?
Both you and your loved ones will feel more at ease knowing that you have identified caregivers for your children outlined in your estate plan. Without a plan in place, your family may argue over who will take care of your children. If you were to pass away, and both you and your spouse had parents, it’s highly likely that they would fight over who would take care of the children. Planning for this well in advance, will give you the opportunity to go over your final wishes with them. Doing this, will save the family from a potential custody battle.
How Will Your Assets be Managed?
More than likely, your child will stand to inherit assets that you may have. Naming someone to manage your assets until your minor child comes of age is important. The state will step in if you do not have a plan in place. You will be able to include stipulations with your assets. For example, money in a specified account can be put away only to be used for your child’s education. It can be a lengthy process if the court is responsible for your assets, as this would require that the court be petitioned each time funds are needed.
When Will Your Children Inherit Your Assets?
A big decision you will need to make is when your child will be able to access their inheritance. This is a personal decision that is different for everyone. Some believe that 18 is the appropriate age, while others think it is best to wait until a child reaches the age of 21. You could even wait longer, until they are married, to give them access to their inheritance. With an estate plan, you will be able to specify when you believe they should have access to the account you set up.
An experienced attorney such as the living trust lawyers Phoenix, AZ locals trust can be useful in providing you with guidance information on how to develops an estate plan when you have children who are minors.
Thanks to authors at Kamper Estrada LLP for their insight into Personal Injury Law