Who Will Take Care of My Children and Their Inheritance if the Worst Happens?

On behalf of The Law Office of Wickersham and Bowers posted in Estate Planning on Monday January 10th, 2022.

When you’re young, healthy, and beginning a family, you may not think about estate planning, but your child needs you to make decisions now that will ensure a secure future for him or her, even if the worst happens.

There are a few critical estate planning actions that every parent should take to ensure that their child is secure, no matter what the future holds.

Make a Will

Making a will is crucial for parents, but did you know that each parent should have their own legal will? Even if generating only one document may be more efficient, a joint will doesn’t make much sense.

A shared will ties the survivor to the original terms, leaving little room for the surviving parent to make revisions if circumstances drastically altered.

Name a Guardian

Your will should name your spouse or partner as the guardian of your children, and their will should name you. Having it written down prevents someone from stepping forward and challenging your children’s custody.

If both of you die or the surviving partner is unable to care for the children, you will need to have an alternate guardian. The most difficult task for parents is deciding on a guardian. It’s difficult to envision anybody else raising your children, yet it’s one of the most crucial things you can do to assure their future happiness.

Set Up a Trust

A child trust fund allows you to decide what your children will receive and when they will receive it. A trust fund is a place where you can keep the assets you want for the beneficiaries you pick.

The trustee is legally accountable for the child trust fund’s management and must fulfill your desires precisely as stated in your will.

For example, you might wish to give your child a lump sum of money on their 18th birthday or want them to inherit one of your most valuable things after you die.

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