There is a common misconception that estate planning is only for individuals or families with significant wealth. Estate planning is a necessity for families with minor children. There are several important objectives in creating an estate plan for young families:
· Selecting the guardian of minor children upon the death or incapacity of the parents
· Providing financially for minor children if the parents become incapacitated or deceased
· Choosing a manager over the family’s finances if the parents become incapacitated or deceased
· Minimizing contention between extended family members
· Determining how and when assets should be distributed to children or others (such as what age children receive outright distributions)
· Avoiding court proceedings upon the incapacity or death of the parents (probate, guardianship)
It is important to consider each of these issues and discuss them with an estate planning attorney. The failure of parents to prepare an estate plan can be devastating to the children and extended family members upon the death or incapacity of the parents. Without written direction from the parents in properly created estate planning documents, minor children can get caught in the middle of expensive and time consuming court proceedings. If you have any questions regarding your estate planning documents or have not yet created an estate plan to protect your family, please call our office today for a free consultation. Once you have a plan in place, you will have the peace of mind that your family will be protected.