Protecting Your Minor Children

No one wants to think about the possibility of dying or becoming incapacitated while their children are still young. But planning for that possibility is the only way to ensure your children’s future will be safeguarded should it ever happen. Identifying a trustworthy guardian for your children in the event you pass away seems like quite a task in itself, but for estate planning attorneys, it’s just a starting point.

With newly found parenthood comes an almost infinite to-do list, along with quite a bit of (often unsolicited) advice from friends and family members. Daily needs such as diapers and formula make it all the more difficult to recognize the urgency of planning for your child’s future should something happen to you or your spouse. Comprehensive estate planning for your minor child can include a Living Trust that ensures your estate will be used for the financial and emotional support of the minor children who outlive you.

In order to have a comprehensive estate plan for your minor children, you should be thinking about more than the obvious questions such as “who will care for my children” or “where will they live?” These are certainly important issues and will involve consulting your spouse, family and friends. On the other hand, the following are just a few questions an estate planning attorney might ask you:

  • Who should manage your children’s money while they are still minors?
  • Where should the money be kept, and who should be in charge of accessing it?
  • Will the money be subject to court supervision and approval prior to money being accessible for your children’s needs?
  • How much money should be available to your children’s guardian, and at what age should your children start to make financial decisions on their own?

All of these questions and more can be addressed with the establishment of a Living Trust that goes far beyond a Last Will and Testament to assure that you have the ultimate say in what happens to your children should you die or become incapacitated while they are still minors.

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