If you have just recently started your own family, estate planning is probably not one of your top concerns. However, it is essential, especially if you have children. It is important to plan out your estate because you cannot predict what will happen to you in the future. You could die unexpectedly tomorrow, and leave behind no testament as to how you want your estate divided. With this in mind, it is crucial that you have a will in place now rather than later because life is unpredictable. Unbeknownst to most, an estate plan can be changed whenever you feel it is necessary, so there is no reason to procrastinate writing one. An estate plan will provide you with the tools to select beneficiaries who can make medical decisions for you in the event that you are incapacitated or cannot speak. You can even specify in your estate plan which actions you would like your doctor to take or not take. Writing a will or estate plan can also allow you to choose which individuals can pay your medical bills and other obligatory bills with your funds whilst you are in recovery.
Deciding Who Will Raise Your Children
Arguably, the most important reason to create an estate plan is so you can decide who will raise your special needs or minor children after you pass. If you and your partner die without having an estate plan in place, it is left to your state to decide who will take care of your children. However, it is likely that you know your friends and family better than anyone including the state, so why would you leave that decision to them? Writing an estate plan will give you peace of mind because you will know who will raise your children after you die, and because you will be relieving your loved ones of stress associated with estate planning. When writing your estate plan, you will have to make a list of all your assets, debts, and accounts that exist. You can designate certain assets to individuals, no matter the financial value. You may also want to take this time to update your designated beneficiaries if you have remarried. By writing an estate plan, you can ensure your family will not have the burden of guessing your last wishes. They will know what your preferences were regarding your finances, distribution of your assets, and rearing of your children. They will already overwhelmed with grieving your death, so having a plan laid out for them in the event that you die will be of great help.
Contact an Attorney
Consider reaching out to an attorney, like a Sacramento estate lawyer, to help you get your plan put in a legally binding document. Your loved ones will appreciate it in the event of your death.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Yee Law Group for their insight into estate planning and minor children.