Most people hope that they live to see their children well into adulthood. And grasping the possibility that this might not happen is difficult at best. But if your family members did suddenly have to cope with their loss of you, are appropriate plans in place? Are there other people who know they’ll be asked to step in? Are those plans written down in your will so that the appointed people can take action quickly, decreasing the stress of an already-painful situation?
When planning your estate, it is a big mistake to overlook the possibilities of planning that can affect your minor children. Many people only approach the estate planning process after their children are grown, which means they have dodged a major bullet by remaining healthy during the time that their children were under the age of 18. Planning for minor children is especially important for families of all sizes. First of all, planning for the minor children must consider who you want to be their guardian if something bad happens to you or the other parent.
Determining who can take care of your children is one of the most important decisions that you should make, and it is a good idea to document this sooner rather than later and it requires a great deal of thought put into it. Not everyone is interested in or cut out to be a parent. Furthermore, recognize that some people may not be in the financial position to take on the responsibility for your children or additional children. This financial consideration should certainly be factored into your overall decision.
Using your will to include a minor’s trust provision to address any inheritance for minor children will be enough. Make sure that you have appropriate plans in place to ensure that a teenager does not have the opportunity to mismanage the money. Once you insert a minor’s trust provision into your will and select a guardian, these are the foundational steps designed to protect children under the age of 18.
You might also consider developing a medical power of attorney that authorizes the same person responsible for your children’s care if something happens to you to make medical decisions for your child. Make sure that this person has the right documentation and is clear of the role that they may be asked to play in an emergency situation if something happens to you.