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Estate Planning for Young Families

Many younger families do not even pause to think about estate planning.  The possibility of death or a disability is hardly considered.  Tragically, it can happen at any time, which is why estate planning for families with young children should be especially important.  There are a few key situations that can arise where a carefully drafted estate plan can avoid lengthy and costly conflict.

Guardianship of Children.

If your current Last Will and Testament has not been updated to reflect your current family, the probate court will determine who should function as a legal guardian over any minor children.  Thus, your Will should name special care givers.

Living Trusts

A living trust can provide significant advantages to aid a minor child.  First, a living trust avoids the length and expense of probate for assets in the Living Trust.  The time and financial savings of this document alone can justify the effort of drafting an estate plan.  Next, a minor must have a financial agent if they receive any inheritance.  Separately, current law indicates that upon reaching the age of majority, 18, the entire inheritance is due to a minor.  A Living Trust can place the management of the assets in a trusted adult who will ensure they are not wasted.  Living Trusts can be as simple or complex as you desire; they can specify fund usage for medical, education or other purposes, and also specify when distributions are to be made.

Personal Effects

Frequently, personal effects can have significance and result in significant conflict.  Your estate plan can be drafted to avoid these battles by specifying gifts, and including anti-bicker clauses to minimize conflict.

Powers of Attorney

Disabilities can happen to anyone, young or old.  As a precaution if one or both spouses become disabled, several Powers of Attorney should be in place.  They include a Health Care Power of Attorney, a Health Care Directive, Financial Power of Attorney, and finally, various HIPPA authorizations to ensure information can be shared with family members.

Contact Us to begin the process of preparing your estate plan today.