When you have children, your entire world changes. You do everything in your power to keep them safe and to protect them from harm. Though it is hard to think about a future for your children if tragedy takes you away from them, it is important to protect them. Our team at Stevenson Smith Hood Knudson, PC can help you to create an estate plan when you have children. Here are a few of our best tips for estate planning with children.
What Happens Without an Estate Plan?
When you haven’t created an estate plan, you will be considered “intestate.” Ultimately, this means that the court will use predetermined state guidelines to dictate guardianship for your children. This can result in many unforeseen problems. For example, your relatives may fight over custody of your children, which can be incredibly unsettling for the children. In some difficult scenarios, this could result in your children ending up in a foster home or state care. By creating an estate plan, you will be able to gain control over your children’s future.
Protect Your Children
An important part of protecting your children involves planning for the unthinkable. Though this can be an incredibly painful thing to think about, planning can provide you with peace of mind regarding unexpected circumstances. When you have children, creating an estate plan can enable you to ensure that your children will be cared for if tragedy takes you away from them.
Ensure Your Wishes Are Followed
An estate plan provides multiple benefits. For one thing, it ensures that your relatives and other loved ones are aware of your wishes. Another, it is legally enforceable. Not only does it make relatives and loved ones aware of your wishes, but it ensures that your wishes will be followed. This helps to enhance your confidence that your children will be protected in the future.
Help with Choosing a Guardian
One of the most important parts of estate planning with children involves choosing a guardian for your children. This can be incredibly difficult, especially because it requires you to think about a future for your children that doesn’t include you. There are many factors that will be important in choosing a guardian. Consider their religion, values, and parenting style and how closely these factors align with your own. It will also be important to consider their age, especially in comparison to the age of your children. Their financial situation and location will also impact their suitability as a guardian. In addition to this, you will need to ensure that they are willing to serve as a guardian for your children.
Make Inheritance Determinations
Custody and guardianship of your children aren’t the only things that you will need to plan for when you are creating an estate plan. You will also need to decide who will be in control of your children’s inheritance until they are eligible to do so. Our estate planning services will enable you to take a comprehensive approach to the future care of your children.
Probate can be a difficult process that has many drawbacks. Without an estate plan, your possessions will certainly fall into probate. This makes your estate distribution accessible to the public and can result in many expenses. It also often makes the distribution process take much longer than simply carrying out the wishes outlined in your estate plan. When you have children, this can be incredibly disruptive to their lives. By creating the ideal estate plan for your children, you will often be able to avoid probate and ensure a smooth transfer of your estate when the time comes.
Plan for Taxes
When you don’t make a plan for your estate, it is possible that substantial taxes will impact your children’s inheritance. By working with a professional to create your estate plan, you will be able to plan appropriately for these taxes and protect your assets.
Estate planning with children adds a layer of complexity. Our team at Stevenson Smith Hood Knudson, PC can help you to create the optimal estate plan to protect your children. By working with experienced professionals, you will ensure that all aspects of your estate plan are carefully considered and planned. For more information about the best ways to plan for your estate if you have children, contact us today!