Many young families mistakenly put off their estate planning. They believe that because they are young, healthy and in the early stages of their careers that it is a needless expense. Nothing could be further from the truth. There are many important non-tax reasons for couples with young children to develop an estate plan.
Who will care for the children in the event both parents are no longer around?
Both of you should carefully contemplate the physical location of the potential guardian, their lifestyle (including whether they have the time to commit to raising a child), whether their religious, political and moral beliefs are the type of values you are comfortable having your children be raised with, and whether the potential guardian even has an interest in serving as such before making the decision to appoint them.
How will estate assets be transferred to the children?
You can appoint someone (not necessarily the guardian) to manage the assets for your children. You can direct a trust be set up for each child to provide for that child based on his or her individual needs as determined by your instructions. Such instructions may include the establishment of a third party special needs trust for a child with a developmental disability. And, you can direct how, when and if each of your children shall receive his or her share of the assets when they reach adulthood.
Who will make medical and financial decisions for the family in the event both parents are incapacitated?
Most young parents just take it for granted that in the unlikely event one of them gets sick or injured and is too debilitated to make decisions themselves, their spouse will handle this responsibility for the family. However, if both parents become incapacitated (due to a car accident, for example) but are still living, it is important that each name successor decision makers in their powers of attorney and health care proxies. The simple act of naming successors will make it possible for urgent health care decisions to be timely made and for family financial matters to be managed without interruption (including credit card and loan payments).
Contact us today and set up a free consultation to discuss how we can help you protect your family.