One of the most common reason people give for not having at least a basic estate plan in place is that they don’t have enough of an estate to warrant creating an estate plan. This belief that the size or net worth of your estate dictates whether or not an estate plan is necessary is the number one estate planning myth. In fact, if you are the parent of minor children your children are your reason for needing an estate plan without regard to the size or value of assets in your estate. Though an estate plan is highly personal, the following estate planning tips for parents of minor children may help you get started creating your estate plan.
2. Utilize your Last Will and Testament to the fullest.
Everyone knows your Will allows you to make gifts to family and loved ones. What you may not know is that for the parent of a minor child a Will does something even more important — allows you to nominate a guardian for your child in the event one is ever needed.
3. Don’t forget about the possibility of incapacity.
Incapacity does not discriminate. It can happen to anyone at any age. Make sure you plan for the possibility in your estate plan.
4. Always make sure a caregiver has a power of attorney.
It’s a simple thing, but something people often overlook. If someone is caring for your children, whether for a day or for a month, make sure the caregiver has the power of attorney necessary to make immediate, potentially life or death, medical decisions for your child.
5. Make sure your estate has sufficient liquidity.
Leaving assets behind to be used for the care and maintenance of your children only works if their caregiver has access to them right after your death. Assets held up in probate for months, even years, won’t help your children. Evaluate the liquidity in your estate to make sure enough funds will be readily available shortly after your death.
6. Familiarize yourself with the basics of trust agreements.
Trusts are a popular addition to any estate plan; however, they are particularly common in estate plans of parents with minor children because minors cannot inherit directly from an estate. Take the time to learn how a trust works and what the various trust options are so that you can decide which type is best for your estate plan.
If you have additional questions or concerns about estate planning for parents with minor children, contact the experienced New York estate planning attorneys at The Law Offices of Saul Kobrick, P.C. by calling 800-295-1917 to schedule your appointment.