If you are the parent of minor children, you undoubtedly wish for them to be well cared for in the event of your death. Although unlikely, tragedy can strike at any time, leaving your children without a parent and without financial support in the absence of a comprehensive estate plan.
The good news is that creating a comprehensive estate plan that will ensure the financial well-being of your minor children can be accomplished relatively easily. Although each family presents a unique set of circumstances, there are common considerations for most families with minor children.
One step that can make a significant difference in the event of your death is to convert titles and accounts to joint accounts if possible. By converting the title to real property to joint ownership, or converting a bank, retirement or investment account to a payable on death or joint account, you are able to give someone immediate access to the asset upon your death. This can be important if that person is responsible for caring for your children.
Your Last Will and Testament can accomplish numerous goals; however, the most important may be to nominate a guardian for your minor children in the event they need one. In the absence of your input on the subject, a court may have to rely on other evidence or testimony when deciding who to appoint as guardian if one is needed.
The financial aspect of your estate plan may actually be the easiest part. Assets can be passed directly to the person who will be responsible for your children through your will, or a trust can be created. A trust created by an Atlanta estate planning attorney may offer tax benefits, avoidance of probate and continued control over the money used to support your children even after you are gone.
Pyke & Associates, P.C. is a member of the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys.