Advice on Estate Planning for Children

There are many parents who have questioned how to create the best possible estate plan for their children. Some parents even make mistakes about how beneficiaries are able to access assets. As a result, this article reviews some important advice that should be followed by parents with young children.


# 1 – Create a Living Document


While it might not seem like it would directly help your children, one of the best steps to take is to make sure that your own living documents are written. 


By making sure that a healthcare power of attorney exists for your own medical decisions, you can make sure that if you end up incapacitated, someone besides your children will be able to make sure that the proper healthcare decisions are made for you. 


# 2 – Select a Guardian and Trustee


If something happens to you, a guardian as well as a trustee will play an important role for your child. A guardian will be tasked with making daily living decisions for the child including where they will attend school and what they will eat. 


Not only is a guardian tasked with these important decisions, there is a potential that a court might select overrule your decision if you make a poor one. As a result, it is important to think carefully about who you should select to act as a guardian for a child.


Trustees also play an important role for children as the entities responsible for making financial decisions for the child. Trustees will pay various bills for a child as well as file any appropriate tax returns and other financial tasks. 


While guardians are only necessary until a child is 18, some parents decide to appoint trustees for a much longer period of time if a child is not financially responsible.


# 3 – Address what will Happen if You Die Young


One of the primary aspects of estate planning for young children is addressing what happens in case you die while the child is still young. Many times, this means writing a comprehensive will or a separate trust. 


If a person passes away without a will, their assets will be divided in accordance with the state’s probate laws. Because minors cannot own property, this means that parents will be forced to appoint someone to hold these assets until the child reaches the age of 18. 


# 4 – Review the Terms of Your Life Insurance Policy


Life insurance can be an invaluable way of making sure that a child has an adequate amount of support if their parents pass away at a young age. If you have existing insurance, it is important to review the terms in consideration of whether the amount will be sufficient for your family. 


If you already have a medical condition or have been diagnosed as uninsurable, it can be helpful to look for groups that offer policies. Other times, it might be a wise idea to select a policy for the other parent if that adult can obtain insurance coverage. 


Speak with an Experienced Estate Planning Lawyer

We all want what is best for our children, but it can be difficult to decide what estate plan. Fortunately, an experienced estate planning lawyer can help you navigate these issues. Contact Ettinger Estate Planning today to schedule a free consultation.

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