- October 4, 2016
Those starting a new family prepare in every way for the challenges to come. New parents read books, attend classes, ask questions, and are generally immersed in information that will help make sure their children succeed in life. Understandably, during this exciting time, many people haven’t thought about how their child’s life might be without them. Estate Planning isn’t usually considered until later in the future, but your plan determines what happens to your children in the event of difficult times.
Estate Planning is a tool that helps make sure you are cared for. More importantly for the younger family, an estate plan ensures that any transition a child might have to endure won’t be burdened with unnecessary conflict. With an Estate Plan, you designate the guardian who will take care of your children, those who will make decisions on your behalf when you cannot do so yourself, and how your assets will be passed on.
A comprehensive estate plan includes Health Care and Financial Durable Powers of Attorney, so a person you designate will assist in making medical decisions and keep your financial affairs afloat. The Living Will (there are two different wills) allows you to make decisions with regard to your end of life care. A suitable estate plan also includes your last will and testament, the document in which you designate a guardian for your children and potentially disperse assets.
If you want control over how those assets will be distributed, and to avoid a costly court proceeding in the event of your passing, the plan could also include a family living trust. With a trust, you have the ability to restrict how and when your assets will be distributed to your children. A properly funded trust will also facilitate circumvention of probate court if there is a passing, by allowing your trustee to distribute your assets.
Estate Planning is essential, each family can and should make decisions today about the issues that may be facing your children or loved ones tomorrow. Not all estate plans are the same, and an “estate plan” doesn’t always have to be complicated. By creating a plan, you do a favor for your family by making sure they have a road map of your wishes. Your family shouldn’t bear the burden of deciding and/or fighting for what should happen with your affairs.