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Creating Your Will with Minor Children in Mind

Posted on Mon Oct 8, 2018, on Estate Planning

Estate Attorney Cherry Hill, NJ

Once you have a child, Creating Your Will with Minor Children in Mind becomes essential.  In an ideal world, parents would not pass away until their children are well into adulthood. Young children need their parents so much, that no one wants to leave them behind with an uncertain future. Creating a will is perhaps one of the most important ways to secure how you would like your children cared for in the event of your passing. Although this can be a painful subject that’s easily avoidable, a will can give you peace of mind in knowing that there is a plan in place. An estate planning attorney can play a crucial role in making sure that every detail is in place. 

Identify a Guardian

With minor children, perhaps the most critical thing to carefully consider is the person who will assume guardianship over them in the event you were to pass away. For most, the surviving parent will take on this responsibility. This is the most common type of arrangement. However, you will want to identify another person in the event that neither parent is living. Agreeing on who will raise your child should both parents die is perhaps one of the most crucial components to your entire will. In selecting the guardian, it is vital to consider your decision. It may be helpful to think over the following when working to identify a guardian for your children:

  • Work towards a compromise with your child’s parent so that you are both in agreement surrounding your choice.
  • Although a grandparent can be an attractive option, you will want to choose someone who is a bit younger such as aunts, uncles, or close friends.
  • Choose someone that your children feel close to if at all possible.
  • Speak to the person you have chosen to make sure that they are willing to take on this huge responsibility.
  • Consider the person’s lifestyle choices and ability to carry this level of responsibility.

Also, it’s also important to identify a backup guardian for several reasons. If your first choice is no longer living or declines the responsibility, you will want to provide an alternative option.  

Appoint a Trustee

A trustee is responsible for managing your child’s inheritance. You create a trust in your will to hold your child’s inheritance, but someone must manage and utilize these assets for your child’s benefit. In addition to identifying a guardian to care for your children, you will also want to appoint a trustee. Sometimes the guardian and trustee can be the same person. However, some may choose two different people to hold these responsibilities. A trustee doesn’t always have to be a friend or family member. You may feel even more at ease in appointing a professional such as an attorney or bank trustee to hold this role.

Restrictions on Their Inheritance

If your child is a minor when they lose one or both of their parents, they could stand to inherit a vast amount of wealth when they reach the age of 18. Young adults are usually not prepared to accept the responsibility of managing assets of this nature. Protecting their inheritance from themselves may be a necessary step to ensure that they do not squander your life savings. One plausible solution to this is to put together a trust for your child. Trusts can be an attractive option for a variety of reasons:

  • Allows you to give clear instructions on how the trust management.
  • A trustee can oversee and manage how the trust is utilized and ensure that your instructions are followed.
  • You can put specific expectations in places such as an age restriction, educational requirements or other behavioral expectations that demonstrate responsibility.
  • A trust can be utilized to help pay for a child’s expenses as needed. For example, college tuition can be paid for from a trust account.

There are a variety of trusts that you may be able to choose from. However, a financial advisor and attorney may be helpful when putting together a trust for your child.

Creating Your Will with Minor Children in Mind

Planning your child’s future without you in it can stir up a lot of emotions. You likely don’t want to think about these unpleasant possibilities, but planning is essential for your child’s safety. Despite this, it’s key to make sure you have a plan in place with your children in mind. By not putting the proper care and planning regarding your children, you risk a variety of complications in the event of your passing. Contact an estate attorney Cherry Hill, NJ relies on at Klenk Law so that you may initiate the process of securing a plan for your child’s future.

Peter KlenkPeter Klenk

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