Did you recently have a child, or do you know someone who recently had a child?
If so, then it is time for you/them to review their estate plans. One of the most common responses I get from folks when I tell them this is “But John, we don’t have much yet…so we don’t really need an estate plan…do we?”
The answer is that you very well may need an estate plan if you have children regardless of your assets, because if something were to happen to you (and your spouse if you are married) then the court will determine who is going to take care of your child (or children) without any guidance from you.
Also, without a Will, whatever you do have will pass via the laws of intestacy NOT in trust for your children. This means that someone you don’t know could be making the decision as to what is appropriate spending for your kid(s).
So, for new families, even the most basic estate plan will include guardianship provisions for children. That way at least you have a say as to who is going to take care of your child. You may also want to include a simple trust for your kids that allows for a trustee (who may or may not be the same person as the guardian, but that is your decision) to distribute assets for them until they reach an age where they can receive the assets without further court involvement. However, the decision as to how your estate plan should be structured should be discussed with your estate planning attorney so that you can ensure it is right for you and your family.
If you would like more information, and want to know how to contact us, you can visit our website and get our contact info by clicking here.