Many young families may put estate planning on the back burner, mistakenly believing it does not apply to them. The truth is there is no way to predict the future. People do not live forever and not everyone is fortunate enough to live well into their 80’s. It is important, particularly where children are involved, to put a plan in place, whether a Will or Trust. Planning for the future of your family should not be put off.
Name a Guardian: Who should care for your children if you can’t?
Naming a guardian for minor children is a vital part of estate planning for families. If you do not name a guardian for your children the court will make the decision for you. If tragic circumstances should affect both parents, well intentioned family disputes could occur over who should raise your children.
Leaving this crucial decision in the hands of the courts may result in your children being placed in the hands of someone different than you would have selected.
It is important to consider selecting someone who shares your values, desires for your children, and who your kids love and you know will raise them with your best interest in mind.
This person may also need to be financially responsible in order to manage your children’s inheritance until they are of legal age to manage the money themselves.
Name an Executor: Who Manages Your Affairs?
The Executor of your estate is a responsible person you can trust to handle all your financial affairs when something happens. While most people name their spouse, you should name another person in case something happens to you and your spouse at the same time.
The executor ensures your debts are paid and your assets are distributed to the appropriate people. In your will you should include a detailed description of how you want your assets distributed. If children are involved you may want to instruct people to sell major assets to provide money to care for the children throughout their life.