If you have children or grandchildren, you may be understandably concerned about how best to provide for them in the event of your death. This isn’t a pleasant or easy subject to contemplate, but it is important to address the needs of your family while you are still in a position to do so. Nobody knows how much time they will be given before their will and the rest of their estate plan becomes urgent business for their loved ones. If you have children or grandchildren and you have not yet determined exactly how your estate plan is going to address their needs, it is time to speak with a lawyer.
If you don’t already have a will in place, it’s time to work with an attorney to draft one that will meet your needs. If you already have a will in place, it may be time to update it. Or, it may be time to consider creating one or more trusts to better address your unique estate planning goals. You don’t need to arrive at your estate planning attorney’s office with a plan of action in hand. It is more than okay to ask questions, voice concerns, and seek personalized guidance before committing to any particular estate planning structure or alterations to an existing plan.
Providing for Kids Via Trusts
As an experienced trust lawyer – including those who practice at Kaplan Law Practice, LLC – can confirm, there are many different ways to provide for children and grandchildren via trusts. Creating a trust or multiple trusts may help you to minimize your tax liability and can help you to ensure that that a few other common estate planning goals are met. Namely, if you choose to create a revocable living trust, your estate will bypass the probate process which can save your children and grandchildren costs, stress, and time.
Additionally, if you choose to create other kinds of trusts, you can dictate the terms under which your children and grandchildren receive the assets contained within the trusts, which can be especially helpful if your loved ones have special needs, you want to provide for a specific purpose such as education, or your kids are simply not great at managing money.
If you are the parent or guardian of a minor child and you have not yet named a guardian in the event of your incapacitation or death, you cannot wait another day to take this critically important estate planning step. This is true regardless of whether you are single or you reside with your child’s other parent.
In the event that a minor child’s parents unexpectedly pass away, the state will determine who we’ll assume guardianship of that child unless a guardian has been named in their parent’s/parents’ estate plan. Do not leave your child’s fate in the hands of the state. Work with an attorney to name a guardian in the event of your death so that you can decide who is best positioned to raise your child in the ways in which you want them to be raised.