For parents with small children, estate planning can take on heightened importance. Of course, chances are that you will be around to see your children become adults; however, in the event of your unexpected death, having an estate plan in place that ensures that your children will be well cared for is essential. Although each family scenario is unique, there are a number of basic considerations that typically go into all estate plans where minor children are involved.
Titling property jointly with your spouse or partner, if applicable, can be a simple, yet important, part of any estate plan. Titling property jointly can allow your spouse or partner immediate access to the assets in the event of your death. If your spouse or partner will be the caregiver for your minor children upon your death, having immediate access to assets can be critical to the care and welfare of your children.
Executing a Last Will and Testament is another important component of an estate plan with minor children. Your will is your chance to nominate a guardian for your children in the event the other parent is not an option or should die simultaneously.
Creating a trust may also be a smart estate planning move when minor children are involved. Trusts can offer tax and probate advantages as well as allow you to retain a significant amount of control over the assets you leave for the care and maintenance of your children. Numerous types of assets can be used to fund a trust from cash to life insurance proceeds and a neutral third party, such as an attorney, can be appointed as the trustee to oversee the administration of the trust.