If you have minor children, estate planning is particularly critical. Whether you’ve just brought your baby home, you’re going to soccer practice, or you’re teaching a teen to drive, it’s profoundly important you have an estate plan. Knowing your children will be taken care of according to your wishes outweighs any temporary discomfort of estate planning. Today, an estate planning attorney shares some important things to consider.
Appoint a Guardian
Naming a guardian for a situation in which you and your children’s other parent die or become incapacitated is one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make. If you don’t appoint a guardian in your will, the decision about the care of your children will fall to the court system.
When appointing a guardian for your children in your will, you’ll need to list a guardian for each child (if you have more than one). Of course, you can name the same person for each child, but it’s also legal to list a different guardian for each. You can also name a married couple as guardians, just be sure to list both names in your will.
Decide Who Controls Your Assets
Second only to deciding who will care for your children is ensuring your kids will be taken care of financially. Many parents wish to leave their children an inheritance, but children cannot legally own property which means an adult must manage the estate until they are of legal age. If you leave an inheritance greater than $11,000, your child is listed as a beneficiary of a life insurance policy, or you leave the property, then an adult must be put in charge of the inheritance until the child is 21. This role is called a conservator, and if your estate plan doesn’t identify one the court will decide.
Have a Living Will
Every person over the age of 18 should have a living will and durable medical and financial powers of attorney. Unlike your last will and testament, which is where you leave assets and name a guardian, these documents spell out things like who you want to make your medical and financial decisions if you become incapacitated, and whether you’d want to be kept alive on a ventilator. While these topics feel unpleasant, or even impossible to talk about, having these documents in order can be a huge blessing to your family.
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Davidson Law Group Can Help
The best way to ensure your estate plan is as comprehensive as possible for protecting your minor children is to work with an estate planning attorney from Davidson Law Group. If you’re interested in learning specifics about how you should set up your estate plan and will, contact us in Allen, Fort Worth, or Tyler today.