I am married to my incredible wife and the father of two beautiful daughters. They are my world and I want to make sure they are protected should anything happen to me. I am certain that your family means the world to you as well. Here are five things every young family should consider for their estate plan.
First thing to consider is a guardian for your Last Will & Testament or Trust. A guardian is the person who would raise your child or children should something happen to you and your partner. The guardian is the person that would be telling your children to brush their teeth or to not eat rocks. Something that I need to tell my one-year-old constantly. In the unfortunate event your children ever needed a guardian, the court would appoint the person you nominated in your will or trust, absent a serious problem with that person. If you haven’t made your wishes clear, the court would be forced to choose a guardian without your guidance. Don’t let the court be forced to make this decision for your children.
If you pass away without a will or trust, your child may inherit funds at the age of 18. Let’s face it, we all might not have been great with money at the age of 18. I know I clearly needed to buy that expensive CD stereo system because CD’s would never become ancient technology right?
Should something happen to you or your partner, the money left to your children can be kept in a trust instead of given to them at 18 and managed by someone with more financial experience, also called your trustee. The trustee can then make decisions on how to invest the funds and what the funds could be used for. So if the child asks for a Ferrari, the trustee can deny that request, but if the child wants to go to college or start a business, the trustee can give the thumbs up. At a certain age as directed in the trust, for example thirty or thirty-five, the trustee will turn over the funds to the child and no longer be in control.
A trust is a must when creating your estate plan to protect your children.
When most people think of estate planning, they think of a last will and testament or a trust. Often forgotten, but equally important, are advanced directives. Advanced directives are documents such as a living will, health care proxy, and power of attorney. These documents allow someone to act on your behalf in the event of your incapacity. By naming a proper health care proxy and executing a power of attorney, a parent who becomes incapacitated can ensure someone else can access their funds for their child’s needs and make proper health care decisions for the parent in the interim.
Should something happen to me, I wouldn’t want my family to struggle due to no longer receiving my income. Life insurance helps solve this problem. I can have a policy and name my wife as the beneficiary. Should anything happen to me, my wife would receive the death benefit and could use the funds to help care for our children.
If something were to happen to both my wife and I, the payout from the insurance could be placed into a trust to cover my children’s expenses. Having life insurance can give you peace of mind that your family and children are protected should something happen to you.
Update Your Beneficiaries
Minors cannot control property, so if funds are left directly to a minor, court intervention is required. Court intervention can be both expensive and time consuming . This can be completely avoided if your beneficiary designations are set up correctly. A spouse or partner is always a good primary beneficiary on accounts but you should not name your minor child as the secondary beneficiary. Instead, you can name a trust set up for your children as a secondary beneficiary. Also, 529 plans should have successor owners on the account. At Miller & Miller Law Group we can give you guidance on who the beneficiaries should be on your accounts.
I hope this article has been informative and helpful to all the parents out there. Should you have any questions feel free to call us at (718) 875-2191 or visit our website at www.nycelderlawyers.com
Miller & Miller Law Group
Wills, POAs and healthcare directives that you can create online are boilerplate, limited and prone to errors and mistakes! Before you spend your hard-earned money on documents that may not even work for your family, contact our attorneys to talk about your needs. You deserve that peace of mind. 5 key things to know when you create a will and make other end-of-life plans. https://www.cnbc.com/2023/03/19/5-things-to-watch-for-when-you-create-a-will-other-end-of-life-plans.html
Probate in our state can be a complex process, but we’re here to simplify it. Contact us and we’ll help you navigate the ins and outs of closing out your loved one’s estate after loss. 6 Estate Planning Tips for Singles. https://www.aarp.org/money/investing/info-2023/estate-planning-for-singles.html
Your collections and memorabilia are more than just possessions—they’re a part of your legacy. Make sure your loved ones understand their true value and how to handle them by including them in your estate plan. https://www.kiplinger.com/retirement/estate-planning-for-memorabilia-collectors
Estate planning can feel overwhelming, but it’s important to make sure your assets are distributed according to your wishes. Check out these four strategies for leaving assets to your heirs and take the first step towards securing your family’s future. https://www.kiplinger.com/retirement/estate-planning-strategies-for-leaving-assets-to-heirs