Most people put off estate planning until they are older, for a variety of reasons. Estate planning is important for many things, such as avoiding Probate by having a Living Trust or avoiding the need for a Conservatorship because you have a current Power of Attorney or Advanced Health Care Directive.
Estate planning is also important when you have a young family. If you have children under 18 and something happens to you, then a Guardianship for your children will be established. If you don’t have an estate plan that names who you want to raise your children, then the Court will have to decide for you. They will try to determine what is in the best interests of your children, but with a proper estate plan the Court must give priority to your choices.
I was thinking about this before the holidays when I met with a family that had a 6-week-old baby. If something happened to the parents imagine a Guardianship lasting over 17 years!
By creating a proper estate plan, parents can do so much more than just decide who will raise their children, but how your children will be raised can also be part of your plan. Expressing your wishes and desires lays out a blueprint for your chosen guardians to follow.
Without a Trust to control the money you leave behind for your young children, your options become extremely limited. Often money is left in a Guardianship bank account which, in today’s environment, will earn almost Zero Percent interest. And what about extra-curricular activities? Do you want trust funds used for camps or music lessons?
It may seem unlikely or even unnecessary, but in the real world accidents happen and having an estate plan provides peace of mind against those unthinkable outcomes you might see every now and then on T.V. If you or someone you love has a family with young children and do not already have an estate plan, then we can help. Call our office to set up a free consultation at 925.283.6691.