Why Young Families Need Estate Planning

Life is busy for families with children. Between work and taking care of your children, other tasks on the to-do list can get put on the back burner. Tasks like estate planning can get sidelined for years, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

Do you know what would happen to your child if you and your spouse suddenly died? Have you nominated an individual to take care of your children’s daily needs in the event you and your spouse are unable to do so? Do you want someone to manage your assets until your child reaches adulthood or after they finish college?

Estate planning can help address these questions. A comprehensive estate plan can ensure that your family is protected and that your wishes are honored.

Why do young families need an estate plan?

Families with children should absolutely have an estate plan.  Even though it is not pleasant to contemplate your untimely death, it is critical for proper planning.

Estate planning for families generally involves:

  • Nomination of a guardian to care for your children.
    • Who is the trusted individual you would want to take care of your children? Are there relative you do not want raising your children?
  • Creation of a testamentary trust.
    • Want to ensure your children don’t just receive a lump-sum when they reach adulthood? Many parents set up a testamentary trust that explains how and when assets should be distributed to their children.
    • Many clients provide that their children receive assets upon the occurrence of specific events such as going to college or buying a home.
    • Other parents distribute their assets to children over time (e.g. one-third at 25, one-third at 30, one-third at 35.)
  • Power of Attorney
    • A durable power of attorney gives someone else, frequently your spouse, authority over your financial assets. This document allows your agent to quickly act on your behalf.
    • A power of attorney can save you the hassle of having to involve the court in the event you are unable to manage your assets.
  • Medical Advance Directive and Health Care Power of Attorney
    • None of us like to imagine that we will become so ill that we won’t be able to manage our own health decisions. However terrible or unlikely the scenario, an advance directive and health care power of attorney can help head off disagreements between family members and provides clear instructions on our medical wishes.
    • These documents give clients the opportunity to specify their end-of-life wishes and to nominate an individual to make medical choices in the event they are unable to do so.
  • Letter of Instruction
    • This document serves as a “road map” for your personal representatives. It gives you the opportunity to provide instructions on everything from your obituary to organ donation.
    • It also tells your personal representative everything they need to know to manage your estate such as where you bank and who is your accountant.

Let us help you protect your family’s future.

We’re here to streamline the estate planning process and provide you with guidance as you make these important decisions. We help families of all sizes to design an estate plan that fits each family’s goals and circumstances. Contact Montana Legal Justice, PLLC to set up your estate planning appointment.