One of the worst nightmares of any parent is dying while their children are still minors. The situation is one that is sure to send your children's lives into a tailspin. By making custody and estate plans now, you can ensure that your kids are taken care of after your death.
Pick A Guardian And Put It In Writing
Most parents have verbally mentioned who they want to care for their children if they should die. Unfortunately, verbal wishes leave the door open to confusion and arguments amongst grieving family members. Having a written will lets your family and the courts know your wishes. You can name your first choice and a backup choice to provide long-term care for your children.
For the short-term, you should name people who can serve as "first responders." First responders are individuals you would be comfortable caring for your children immediately after your death. Naming first responders prevents your children from having to go into foster care while the courts determine what relative is fit to care for your kids.
Purchase Life Insurance
Life insurance ensures that your children's guardian has the financially means to provide them with a stable childhood. When deciding how much life insurance to buy, consider day care costs, college expenses, and the increased home expenses that come with raising children.
Term life insurance is a budget-friendly option. It provides you a predetermined amount of coverage for a specified period. For example, you can purchase a 20-year term policy that pays $500,000. If you die before the 20-year period, the plan pays out. After 20 years, the policy expires.
Set Up A Living Trust
A living trust makes it easier to pass your assets to your children. Once you establish the trust, you must put all of your assets into the trust for it to function as intended. Setting up a trust allows your assets to bypass probate. Probate is an expensive, time-consuming process that can take a chunk out of your children's inheritance.
The living trust lets you designate a trusted person to manage your children's inheritance. You can also specify conditions concerning their inheritance, such as restricting the amount of money that they receive each year once they are adults. In general, a living trust provides you with more control than a will when it comes to dictating how assets should be distributed.
If you die before your kids are adults, you can provide for them even after your death with the appropriate planning. Though nothing can reduce their heartache, having a stable home ready for them and providing assets for their care helps you see that they are well cared for. No one wants to think about death, but having the right legal documents makes things much easier for your loved ones. A lawyer who specializes in estate planning, such as Donald B Linsky & Associate Pa, can help you take the necessary steps to protect your children when you are gone.