Why Young Families Need an Effective Estate Plan
Estate planning is for people approaching their golden years, right? Unfortunately, far too many parents believe that and fail to adequately prepare for what will happen in the event of their untimely death. Let’s look at some reasons it makes good sense to prepare and execute a solid estate plan when you have young children.
First, let’s identify what estate planning covers. Though one of the key objectives is to ensure the orderly distribution of your property, there are other important reasons to put together an estate plan. You can provide direction for family members should you become incapacitated or ill. You can designate someone with power of attorney to make medical decisions on your behalf. You can also indicate whether you want to be resuscitated or have medical professionals use artificial life support.
There’s No Guarantee You’ll Be Here Tomorrow
Accidents happen. No amount of preparation or planning can ensure your complete safety. Without a valid estate plan, your children can face significant challenges:
- Your assets may be tied up for months or years in an intestacy proceeding, as the court attempts to determine your wishes and other family members become involved.
- You won’t have any input into who will serve as your child’s guardian (assuming you don’t leave another parent behind). Your children may end up with people who don’t share your values or beliefs.
- The court may need to appoint someone to monitor and manage the assets you leave to your children.
- You won’t have any control over how your children obtain access to your estate, including when they gain access and how much they receive.
Benefits of Setting Up an Estate Plan for Your Young Family
With an effective estate plan:
- You can choose who will serve as guardian of your minor children in the event of your death or incapacitation. You can also designate an alternate guardian, should your chosen person be unable or unwilling to serve.
- You can identify exactly how your estate will pass to your children. That may involve the creation of a trust, with specific provisions as to when and how your children can access funds. You can designate who will act as trustee and identify life events (birthdays, marriages, completion of college, etc.) that must occur for there to be additional access to funds.
- You can designate the specific person to manage your estate for the benefit of your children. You can also specify the powers of that person, including where they can invest estate funds, when they can make a distribution, and when they can sell assets.
- You can designate someone to act as your medical power of attorney, someone who knows you and will make decisions that take your children’s needs into account.
Contact the Proven Estate Planning Lawyers at Bailey & Galyen
At the law office of Bailey & Galyen, we offer a free initial consultation to every client. For an appointment with a knowledgeable and detail-oriented estate planning attorney, contact us by e-mail or call our offices at one of the convenient locations listed below. We will take your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.