Do I Need An Estate Plan?
If you are a young, healthy person with a family, estate planning is probably the last thing on your mind. If you are thinking about it, you are probably thinking:
- I am too young
- I am healthy so I don’t need it
- I am not even sure I can afford it
If you have a family, you aren’t too young or too healthy to get your affairs in order. Unfortunately, even a young, healthy adult can suddenly become ill or have an accident. We know it is against our nature to think about such unpleasant things, but the truth is, it is reality. Accidents happen, and you need to make sure your loved ones are provided for.
It is critical for you and your family’s future to plan for possibilities. It is the responsible thing to do for your family, and it doesn’t have to be expensive to get your estate in order.
What Is A Good Estate Plan?
A good estate plan for a young family will include the following:
- Naming an Administrator
Choosing the person that will take on the responsibility of handling your financial affairs is a decision that should not be taken likely. They will have to locate and value all of your assets, locate and pay all of your bills, distribute your assets, and hire an attorney or other advisor. This person needs to be trustworthy, willing and able to take on the responsibility.
- Naming a Guardian for Minor Children
Deciding on who will raise your children if something were to happen to both you and your spouse is a difficult, but necessary task. If you do not name a guardian, and something did happen, the courts will appoint a guardian for your children without your consent, or the consent of your children.
- Providing Instructions for Distribution of Assets
Usually married couples leave their assets to the surviving spouse, should something happen. If both parents die and their children are young, they usually want their remaining assets to be used to raise and support their children. Some assets may be automatically transferred to a surviving spouse or children, but an estate plan containing instructions for the distribution of your assets is still needed to ensure the assets are divided according to your wishes.
- Naming Someone to Manage the Children’s Inheritance
If you do not include this in your estate plan, the court will appoint someone to oversee your children’s inheritance without your consent. The person appointed is usually someone with no connection to your family. They will be paid for their service out of your children’s inheritance. The children will not be able to access any of the money until they reach legal age. Establishing a trust for the children’s inheritance lets the parents accomplish these goals and select someone they know and trust to manage it.
- Reviewing Insurance Needs
If something should happen to one or both parents, the income for one or both parents would need to be replaced. If one parent is a stay at home parent, their responsibilities may need to be covered by hired help. You should consider some form of life insurance in order to provide for your family if something should happen to you or your spouse.
- Planning for Disability
Unfortunately, accidents happen, people become ill, and the unthinkable can become reality. Both parents need medical powers of attorney to give someone else legal authority to make medical decisions if they are unable to do so for any reason. Most people will name their spouse to do this, but it is important to name some backups in case your spouse is unable to. Since life insurance policies do not pay at disability, some form of disability insurance should also be considered.
Get In Touch
If you need some help getting your affairs in order, give us a call! We are happy to answer any questions you may have. You can schedule a free consultation with us today.