Natural disasters happen! Catastrophes! Accidents! Illness! No one gets out of this world alive, but we can plan to make it easier on those we leave behind. If you have accumulated assets or have minor children, you need to do some estate planning. The more complicated your life, the more complicated your planning needs to be.
Experts say that less than 35% of us have wills, according to a CBS Boston post titled “Where There’s A Will There’s A Way!” It’s a common subject about which people procrastinate—particularly those with young children. Parents are focused on keeping their children safe day-to-day, but they rarely engage in any estate planning to keep the kids safe in the event that something should happen to them. At a minimum, you need a will naming guardians for your children if something should happen to you and your spouse. Without a will, you will leave this to be handled by whoever the court appoints. Plus, if there is life insurance involved, relatives will come out of the woodwork and offer to take the kids.
One solution is to create a trust for the children when they are minors so something is in place for their financial support in the event you pass away. You would need to designate a person or persons in the will to serve as trustee. However, many parents delay this because they can’t figure out who to designate as guardian for their children. This decision can be complicated with blended families. So many just postpone thinking about this important decision.
The wisest selection to make is an adult sibling, cousin or a friend who lives close by. You should discuss this with family members and friends. Talk about who you would like to raise your kids.
Estate planning makes things easier for those you leave behind if something should happen to you. Visit an experienced estate planning attorney and get this done now.
Reference: CBS Boston (August 27, 2015) “Where There’s A Will There’s A Way!”