From the moment you discover you are becoming a parent, you may feel the innate need to do everything possible to protect your children. Though you’d sacrifice your health and happiness for your little one, there may be one significant thing you have not done yet to help your child. Planning your estate is one of the most critical things you can do to protect your minor children. However, working with a Washtenaw County estate planning attorney is vital to ensuring your wishes for your children are met. The following blog explores what you should consider when planning your estate and why working with an attorney is vital.
What Can I Do to Protect My Minor Children in My Estate Plan?
By far, the most significant thing you can do to protect your children when estate planning is to name a guardian in your will. Essentially, this is the individual who would assume guardianship and care for your child in the event you pass away. Because this is such a monumental decision, it’s important to carefully consider your options. You may even want to have conversations with those you are considering to ensure they would be willing to step up. Regardless, you should also name an alternative choice in the event the person you named is unable to assume the responsibility upon your passing.
Additionally, you’ll want to carefully plan how you will leave your children their inheritance. Many assume naming minor children as the beneficiaries in a will is the best option. However, this is not always the case, as the courts can appoint guardians to handle their inheritance until they are legal adults. Similarly, it may not be the best idea to give an 18-year-old a considerable amount of wealth, as they may mishandle the funds.
Instead, you may want to consider creating a trust fund. This allows you to hold assets until they are distributed according to the terms you decide. In charge of your fund will be a trustee, who you can personally appoint. They are responsible for distributing the assets in the trust according to your wishes or at their own discretion, depending on the terms you’ve created.
How Can an Attorney Assist?
Estate planning is essential, essentially when minor children are involved. As such, you’ll want to ensure you do everything possible to make your plan valid and legally binding. That’s why it’s imperative to enlist the assistance of an attorney for this process to ensure the terms you want to include adhere to Michigan state law.
At Collis, Giffor & Hendra, we understand how complex this process can be. Our team is committed to doing everything possible to help you achieve your goals and obtain peace of mind for the future. Contact us today to learn how we can assist you when you want to establish an estate plan.