Why Estate Planning is Important for Every Parent

June 22, 2017, by Attorney, Shelley Thompson, Burns Figa & Will P.C.

estate planning for parentsYour will names the people you choose as guardian, or caretaker, over your minor children in the unlikely event of death of both parents.

Choosing a guardian is another decision that is very hard to make. This is normal – no one can imagine someone else raising their kids in the event of death of both parents. The thought alone is painful and frightening. But in the event such a disaster strikes, having done nothing, once again, is the worst option. A court would appoint guardian of your children, and it could be the most vocal person, including someone you would not have chosen. It could be someone who has a very different parenting philosophy than you. It could be somewhere where your kids aren’t happy. Your children would live with your guardian, and your guardian would receive some or all of your assets in order to care for your children. As BabyCenter.com reported in August 2016:

“For parents, making a will is the single most important thing you can do to make sure your child is cared for by the people you would choose if anything should happen to you. In your will you can designate a person (guardian) to care for your children if you die before they become legal adults. And you can designate a [trustee] to manage your money for your children until they reach adulthood.”

The roles of trustee and guardian can be filled by the same person, or different people. If you choose the same person, keep in mind your trustee would be writing checks to herself, as guardian, for groceries and other items to care for your kids.

It is very unlikely both parents will die and a guardian will be needed. But don’t put off naming a guardian, because the worst result would be the appointment of someone you would not have chosen. Name a guardian for your kids today by creating your online will today at iWillandTrust.com. It takes just 30 minutes, click “Begin” below now.