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What estate planning steps should parents take?

As a parent of an underage child, you make decisions every day about the best way to provide for their needs and lay the groundwork for a bright future. One important way for parents to support their child is to create an estate plan. What steps should parents take during this process?

Choose who you want to raise your child if you cannot.

Who do you want to provide for your child’s needs if you cannot be there? Who do you trust to help them through life’s challenges and to raise them in a way that reflects your values? The person you would choose might not necessarily be the same person that the court would choose. Naming a guardian in your will allows you to make this choice yourself.

Address what will happen if you become incapacitated.

You cannot know what the future will hold, and if an accident or severe illness changes your life having powers of attorney in place can help ease the stress of this situation. Choosing someone to make healthcare decisions on your behalf can provide clarity and decrease stressful conflict if your loved ones do not agree about your medical care. Naming someone to make financial decisions on your behalf ensures that your child has the financial support they need and that your bills are paid while you cannot manage your own finances.

Consider all of your estate planning options.

Your child and their needs are unique. When building a plan to support those needs, it is important to explore all of your options so that you can choose the best options for your specific goals. While you might only think of a will when estate planning, a trust may allow you greater control over your assets. You can provide guidance on when your child can receive those funds and to name someone you trust to manage assets in trust.

By carefully considering your options, you can ensure that your child has the support they need no matter what the future holds. If you have any questions about this or any other estate planning or administration matter, contact Michelle Smith of our firm at 973-661-0710 ([email protected]).



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