The importance of estate planning for parents of minors

For many young people and even a good chunk of older people living in Lee County, Florida, drafting a will is likely at the bottom of their to-do list. According to studies conducted recently, it is estimated that only 35% to 45% of American citizens have a will. This may be due to the fact that we don’t necessarily want to think about our own deaths, but it may also be that many don’t think they have enough assets to make it worth their while. However, planning what will happen to your estate after your death can save your loved ones a lot of heartache and frustration and allow them to mourn properly.

Drafting a will can be especially important for parents with minor children. When parents with young children die without a will, it is typically up to the state to decide who will become the children’s guardians. If this seems like a scary thought to you, then making a will can ensure that the people you want to care for your children will be given guardianship of them.

Another good idea for those with minors is to create a trust. A trust can allow you to say how and when you want your children to inherit. Instead of receiving all the money at once, it can be given over a period of time with certain specifications. A trust is also a great way to lower your estate and gift taxes and may protect your estate from lawsuits.

No matter what your age, drafting a will is a good idea, particularly if you have young children. To get started, you may wish to visit an attorney experienced in estate planning.

Source: CNN Money, “10 steps to painless estate planning,” Martha White, Mar. 3, 2014

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