As a young family, you want to make sure that your children will be taken care of if something happens to you. But what do you need to do to ensure that happens?
You may not know this, but your estate planning needs will be different depending on the stage of your life. A retired couple without children needs an estate plan to prepare for potential incapacity due to deteriorating health and eventual death. Your estate plan will focus on providing for you at the end of your life and then passing your assets on to family, friends, or charities.
A young family has different needs. Young families need an estate plan to provide for minor children. As part of their estate plan, they need guardianship nominations, so that the court can appoint a guardian for the surviving children.
They may also desire a trust to get their assets to their children quickly and to control who will manage those assets as trustee. With a trust, parents can control when their children will have access to the assets in the estate and how the assets can be used.
If both parents die, a trust can eliminate the need for a court-appointed guardian of the estate of the minor children. Instead, the trustee the parents chose will manage the assets in the trust for the benefit of the children. Moreover, parents can use a trust to protect their minor children's inheritance from other family members or in the event a surviving parent remarries.
If you have a young family, consider contacting a qualified attorney to discuss your estate-planning options.