Why Parents with Young Children Need an Estate Plan

November 28, 2016

 

Reason 1: Your children may need a guardian.  

No one likes to think about the negative things that can occur in everyday life; however, when you have young children it is important that you develop an estate plan to ensure that they are well provided for and cared for by someone you trust. In the event that both you and your spouse should suddenly pass or be so severely injured that you can no longer care for your children, a guardian will need to step in to take on your parenting duties. If you do not have an estate plan in which you name your choice for guardian, it will be up to a court to make the choice for you.  You don’t want a judge who doesn’t know you or your children to make such an important decision for you and your children without your input.


Reason 2: Someone may need to manage your children’s finances.

Legally, children under the age of eighteen are unable to manage their finances on their own.  If you and your spouse should pass and leave your property to your children, someone will need to manage it. When you create an estate plan you have the option to create a testamentary trust or living trust that becomes the legal owner of your property for the benefit of your children.  The trust is managed by someone you designate and trust, called a trustee. The trustee will have the responsibility of managing the property for the benefit of your children in accordance to your specified guidelines to ensure that your children are adequately cared for. It is recommended that the trustee be a different person than the guardian to ensuring that no single person has the sole responsibility for both caring for your children and managing their finances.  If you do not have an estate plan in which you designate a trustee to manage your minor children’s finances, it will be up to a court to make the choice for you.  You don’t want a judge who doesn’t know you or your children to make such an important decision for you and your children without your input.  Also, if you plan to leave your young adult children a substantial inheritance, it is not a good idea for your young adult children to manage their finances on their own, as there are predators who actively seek them out.



Reason 3: You or your loved ones’ circumstances have changed. 

Some young couples create an estate plan soon after their child is born. While your choice of guardian may have been ideal for a young child, you may wish to reconsider your choices if your child has grown and is now, for example, a teenager. Maybe you have experienced the birth of a new child, you may want to update your estate plan to ensure that your new bundle of joy is provided for as well. Perhaps you have experienced a divorce or loss of a loved one? If so, you may need to update your estate plan to name other guardians, trustees, and/or beneficiaries. Possibly someone has developed a special need, such as a substance abuse problem, financial difficulties, incapacitation, or are the recipient of government benefits.  If so, you should update your estate plan to ensure that your loved ones’ special needs are taken into consideration.    Maybe it has simply been several years since you have reviewed your estate plan.  If so, you should take the time to do so because the choices you made then may not reflect your current desires.

 

If you or someone you know are seeking answers to questions, concerns, or inquiries about estate planning, call 9901) 315-0559 and schedule an Estate Planning Session with Walls Law Firm today, and we will be glad to help you gain clarity!  

 

Our law office is located in Memphis, Tennessee, but we also serve Bartlett, Germantown, Cordova, Collierville, Millington, Shelby Forest, Shelby Farms, Lakeland, Fisherville, Arlington, Eads, and Rosemark, Tennessee.

 

This information is for advertising purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice, create an attorney-client relationship, or guarantee particular results.

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