Americans who are planning for the eventual distribution of their assets to their family members after they pass away are engaged in a pragmatic act for the protection of their loved ones. We too often think that we will always be there for our children and grandchildren. When you are younger it is hard to imagine a time when you will no longer be around to provide assistance of various kinds.
But the reality is that age takes its toll – relentlessly coming at us every day. Everyone passes away at some point in time. As we all know people pass away long before their time everyday, and this is something to take into consideration as well. All deaths are “untimely.” The point is, if you have minor children still living in the home estate planning is extremely important even if the odds tell you that you will not be passing away until the children become adults. There are few things more disturbing than imagining a scenario where your children are without parents and without financial resources available to provide for their needs.
To plan your estate with minor children in mind one of the first things you will want to do is decide on a guardian for them. You have to legally assert your choice of a guardian to take care of your children if both parents were to pass away suddenly and unexpectedly in an accident. It’s your responsibility.
From a financial perspective you could include a custodian to handle bequests to minor children under the Uniform Transfers to Minors Act. You should also create an estate plan and stipulate in your will or trust that funds bequeathed to the children be placed into a trust fund for their benefit. This can include insurance policy proceeds. Of course it is very important to have adequate coverage so that your children are provided for if the unthinkable was to take place.
The fallout from a lack of preparation could be devastating. To learn more about estate planning for minor children, simply pick up the phone and arrange for a consultation with an experienced estate planning attorney.
Author, President and Founding Attorney
Parman & Easterday