Becoming a parent is one of the most fulfilling things for many, as welcoming a child is an exciting time. As such, you’re ready to do everything possible to protect your children. However, you may not have considered why planning your estate is so crucial for your minor children. The following blog explores what you must know about these complex issues and how Pennsylvania estate planning attorneys can assist you through this process to ensure you can take the necessary steps to provide for your children in the worst-case scenario.
What can I do to protect my minor children when estate planning?
One of the most important things you should do if you are a parent looking to protect your children in your estate plan is to name a guardian for your children in the event you pass away. This is not a decision that should be made lightly, as this person would be responsible for your children in the event you pass away before they are 18. As such, you’ll want to carefully consider your options. It may even be in your best interest to name an alternate in case the person you named is unable to care for them at the time of your passing.
Additionally, you’ll want to consider how you will leave your children their inheritances. Though the most common option seems to be a will, a trust may be better suited for this instance. A trust fund holds assets on behalf of you until the terms and conditions you’ve specified are met or according to the discretion of the trust’s manager. Once these terms are fulfilled or it’s necessary to disperse them, the person assigned to oversee the distribution of assets from the fund, known as the trustee, will provide your children with their inheritances.
Setting up a trust is ideal, as it prevents your minor children from coming into a large sum of money. Not only would this help prevent the state from appointing a guardian, but it also helps prevent them from misusing the funds as they are young and may not be responsible enough to handle considerably large funds.
Why do I need an attorney for this process?
As you can see, there are many considerations you must make when planning your estate, especially if you have young children. That’s why it’s in your best interest to enlist the guidance of an experienced attorney to help you navigate these complex issues and ensure your children are protected according to your wishes.
Unfortunately, many put this off as they assume their youth will shield them. Though unpleasant to consider, accidents do happen, making it essential to plan your estate if you have children. Not only does this allow you to decide who should assume guardianship of your children, but it also allows you to ensure they receive assets on your terms to provide them with the best opportunities.
At Friedman Schuman, we understand how complex planning an estate can be, especially when you have children to consider. That’s why our firm is dedicated to helping you explore your options to ensure your wishes are reflected in accordance with the law. Contact our firm today to learn how we can assist you during these challenging times.