Designating a Physical Guardian
Through estate planning, you name your children’s guardian for your children in the event of your death or incapacitation.
Consider these aspects before choosing a guardian.
Choose a Trusted Individual
Consider who would be the best person to care for your children if something were to happen to you. This could be a family member, friend, or someone else you trust.
Discuss The Decision with The Person
Make sure they are willing and able to take on this responsibility.
Make It Legal
Work with an attorney to create a legal document that names the chosen guardian. Include this guardian in the process, and their explicit consent will be helpful against any challenges against them
Keep It Updated
As circumstances change, you must keep your estate plan updated. It should accurately reflect your wishes at all times.
Protecting Their Financial Future
Creating a trust for your children is another important aspect of estate planning. A trust is a legal arrangement that allows you to transfer assets to a trustee, who executes your wishes on your children’s behalf.
Here are some steps to consider when creating a trust for your children.
Determine Which Assets You Want in the Trust
This could include cash, investments, real estate, or other valuable items.
Choose a Trustee
The trustee is responsible for managing the assets in the trust and distributing them to your children. A well-crafted estate plan will make sure the trustee follows only your wishes. You can choose someone you know to be the trustee, or you can hire a professional.
Create The Terms of the Trust
You can specify how and when the assets will be distributed to your children. For example, you might set up specific milestones (e.g., completing college) before releasing certain funds.
By creating a trust for your children, you can ensure that their inheritance is managed responsibly and follows your wishes. Additionally, trusts can provide tax benefits and protection from creditors or lawsuits.
Making Sure Money Is for Them Alone
A financial power of attorney is a legal document that allows someone to handle your financial affairs if you are unable to. However, you must consider limiting the power you grant, protecting yourself from abuse or misuse of your assets.
This protection can extend to your children as well. You can make sure that certain monies are set aside for the kids alone, and your power of attorney cannot touch these funds.
Do the following when considering the limits of your financial power of attorney.
Understand the Types of Powers
Financial powers of attorney can grant broad or limited powers. A broad power could allow someone to access all your assets and make any financial decisions on your behalf, while a limited power might only give them access to specific accounts or transactions.
Choose a Trusted Agent
When designating an agent in your financial power of attorney, choose someone you trust and who has your best interests at heart. Also, make sure they are willing and able to fulfill the demands of the job.
Specify Limits in the Document
Work with an attorney to specify exactly which powers you want to grant and which ones you want to refuse.
Consider Adding Oversight
If you have concerns about potential abuse, consider appointing another person as an overseer, or require regular reporting from the agent.
Helping Your Kids Today
Estate planning is very much about the future. It accounts for your death or possible incapacitation. However, estate planning is an active process, and you can use its benefits right now.
A specific bequest is a gift of a particular asset or amount of money to a designated individual or organization. You can grant bequests while you are alive, or you can put them in your will. If the kids are still minors, you can put this money into specific accounts. Then you can make sure that only the intended beneficiary can use these accounts when they are of age.
By including specific bequests in your estate planning documents, you can designate certain funds for specific purposes, such as paying for a grandchild's education or donating to a favorite charity.
Take these steps when using estate planning to designate money for specific purposes.
Identify the Individuals or Organizations
Decide which persons or groups you want to benefit.
Determine the Amounts
Decide the exact amount of money or value of assets you want each individual or organization to receive.
Work With an Attorney
An experienced estate planning attorney can help you draft and execute the necessary legal documents, such as a will, trust, or other estate planning instruments.
The Law Office of David A. Martin & Associates is here to help with all your estate planning needs. If you are ready to create a financial future for your children, contact us online or call us now at (916) 299-3936.