Although anyone who is a legal adult could likely benefit from estate planning, many people wait until achieving certain life goals to actually draft documents. Becoming a parent is often the precipitating life event that motivates someone to sit down and draft a will. After all, parents are responsible for their children. They want to offer them the best life possible, which may very well mean that they need to plan to protect them even if they cannot physically be present to accomplish this aim.
Creating an estate plan can offer parents several opportunities to act in the best interests of their children for the benefit of their comfort and security.
They need to choose a guardian
Naming a guardian to assume parental responsibilities parent dies is of the utmost importance. The right guardian can provide both financial and emotional support to children who have gone through a difficult time. Without a guardian chosen by their parents, children could sometimes end up in foster care when their parents die.
They can set aside resources
Parents may want to provide financial support for their children so that the guardian caring for them won’t have to provide financially. They may purchase life insurance or arrange to have their children inherit a sizable portion of their resources, if not all of them. Some people will achieve this with a will. However, minor children will not be able to manage a sizable inheritance on their own. Their guardians will have control over their inherited property until they reach the age of majority.
As a result, many parents thinking about long-term care needs for their children may benefit from the creation of a trust. A trust helps ensure the proper utilization of a child’s inheritance. For example, but trust that holds a family home can give the children and their guardian a right to live at the property while simultaneously protecting it from sale until the children become adults. Parents may also want to consider putting together powers of attorney and advance medical directives so that there are trusted individuals to protect their resources and handle their medical affairs in the event that an emergency that leaves them incapacitated.
Recognizing how vulnerable children really are may help parents find the motivation to put together a protective estate plan. Seeking legal guidance is a good way to start.