One of the last things a young couple is thinking about when starting a family is planning for their loved ones in the event of a tragedy. Since planning for one’s disability or death is not a topic many people are comfortable discussing, they tend to put off their estate planning. Many times this results in individuals never implementing a proper estate plan. Families with young children must consider who will act as a guardian for their minor children in the event both parents unexpectedly pass away. This can be a very difficult decision for parents, as it is impossible to imagine anyone but them raising their children. It is imperative that children will be placed with trustworthy people to raise them until they are adults. If a guardian is not appointed, the Court will appoint a guardian to care for the minor child.
It is also important that a reliable person be appointed as the Executor of the estate. Choosing the right Executor to manage the assets of an estate can greatly impact a child’s life, as this is the person who will make sure that the child is receiving all of the assets in accordance with the Will.
When reviewing assets, it is important to determine how much a child will need in the event both parents pass away. If the value of the assets is determined to be insufficient, it may be wise to consider purchasing life insurance to ensure the child’s healthcare needs and education requirements are met, and that the child has a comfortable life. The amount of life insurance will depend on numerous factors that can be discussed with an attorney and/or financial advisor.
Remember, a large estate or a high net worth is not a requirement for implementing a sound estate plan. Anyone with a modest estate, and especially if they have children, needs to plan to provide for their children in the event of their death. The death of a child’s parents unexpectedly is challenging enough for a young child, but if parents did not plan for their child’s future, the situation can become even more complex.