No one wants to face the thought of what might happen if you pass away. But as painful as it may be to think about, it is an essential step in protecting your children. A writing a Will can help to ensure your children are financially taken care of and allow you to have a say in how your children are raised and by who if you pass away prematurely.
Things to Consider When Estate Planning With Little Ones
Estate planning and crafting a legally binding Will with an estate lawyer is not a privilege for the rich. It is a responsible and often affordable document that every parent should consider drafting. You must have an estate plan if you want your wishes to be respected and your family protected.
Here are the key things you must consider when it comes to estate and Will planning when you have young children.
1. Appoint a Guardian When Writing a Will
As a parent of young children, appointing a guardian is one of the most crucial things you’ll want to consider when writing a Will. If you do not appoint a guardian in your Will, the court will appoint someone for you.
In this case, your children may be placed with someone who wouldn’t be your preference.
Perhaps an immediate family member is chosen to raise your children.
If you have an estranged relationship with them or if they live far away from where your children have been raised, they may not be your first choice.
You’ll want to make sure your preferences for a guardian are clear in writing a Will.
2. Appoint an Executor in Writing a Will
An executor will ensure that your estate is distributed according to your wishes. Again, if someone is not appointed in your Will, the courts will appoint someone for you.
This could cause your estate to end up in the wrong hands. When writing a Will, appoint a trustworthy person to manage your estate. This will give you peace of mind that your estate is managed and benefits your children.
3. Establish a Trust for Children Under the Age of Majority
When writing a Will, indicate how you would like to manage your children’s inheritance by establishing a trust alongside your Will. A testamentary trust is simple to set up and does not require extra paperwork.
Further, in establishing a trust, you can determine how much to pay your minor children and their guardians for maintenance. Moreover, determine how to distribute the inheritance, additional spending beyond the children’s basic needs, and more.
It is standard for children to receive their inheritance at the age of majority. However, most beneficiaries are not ready to manage large sums of money or assets responsibly at that age.
In addition, a trust prevents children from accessing the trust before their parents think they will be ready. They can do this by postponing estate distribution or providing staggered inheritance payments to their children.
4. Establish a Trust for Children With Disabilities
If you have a child with disabilities, a trust will help to provide for that child throughout the duration of their lifetime.
It can help them manage their expenses and maintain their lifestyle. Therefore, without trust, you have limited tools to control and preserve the money you are leaving to your disabled child.
Likewise, your child will often lose disability benefits from the government upon receiving a significant inheritance. If your child receives government assistance, a trust may help them keep their ability to receive it. So, don’t forget this when writing a Will.
5. Naming Beneficiaries in Writing a Will
Most of the time, parents prefer to see each other as the first-choice beneficiaries in writing a Will.
Choosing each other as the primary beneficiary, we trust that the surviving parent will use our estate in the interests of the family and the kids.
However, some parents fail to address the premature death of the other parent and make the kids contingent beneficiaries after the parent.
Therefore, the other parent is the primary beneficiary. Then, kids as your second choice to ensure that your estate will eventually get to the right hands.
On your death, the surviving parent would receive your inheritance. If they predecease you, the kids will receive the estate anyways.
6. Writing a Will to Address Incapacity
Death is not the only thing that must be considered by young parents. Moreover, consider what would happen to your young children and estate in the case of your mental or physical incapacity as well.
By naming someone your Enduring Power of Attorney, you are giving them the responsibility to manage your property on your behalf.
Whereas, a Personal Directive will designate someone to make your personal and healthcare decisions. Also, to become a guardian for your young children in the case of your incapacity.
To give yourself peace of mind, ensure these documents are filled out so you know you and your children are in the hands of someone you trust if you are incapacitated.
Anything you fail to address when writing a Will with kids can lead to lengthy and expensive court processes. Moreover, may result in decisions that are not in alignment with your wishes.
As parents, we would do anything to protect our children. Ensure they are taken care of by writing a Will and considering your estate planning options before it is too late.
To read more about writing a will, we have posted an article to give you more idea about it on this page; The Touchy Parenting Topic Of When To Write A Will?
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Sara is our super author here at famous parenting and is an absolute wealth of knowledge. Sara has studied many topics including creative writing and journalism and loves to study how famous parents and entrepreneurs raise their kids. Her biggest passion lies in raising her 5 children. Between working from home, homeschooling her youngest 2 children and navigating the world of teenagers she really is a parenting guru.