Did you know that ONLY ONE-THIRD of parents have named guardians for their children? This means that the vast majority of parents have not seriously considered what will happen to their children if both parents meet a premature death.
Many parents have one of the following mind-sets when it comes to estate planning:
1. “I don’t have an estate, so I don’t need a Will”
2. My child’s other parent will take care of everything
However, you might want to consider the following questions:
- Who will raise your child if both you and your child’s other parent unexpectedly die?
- Who will handle the financial responsibility of raising your child?
- Who will manage the property that your child inherits from you?
- How will your child be financially supported in your absence?
- Do you assume that your surviving spouse or partner will just simply “get everything” if you die without having a Will?
- What happens if your child has special needs?
The objectives of estate planning for parents with minor children are to establish a plan for raising your child or children, ensure that your property is transferred to the person of your choosing, determine who will handle any property inherited by your child or children until he or she is old enough to do so, and determine who should handle the affairs of your estate. Even if all you own is a house, a bank account, a life insurance policy, and/or a few investments, you have an estate and you have the power to control who will receive your property if the unthinkable happens.