Five things you need to outline in your estate plan to protect your children
What to Include in a Will
An estate plan doesn’t have to be complex or expensive, but it should:
- Designate beneficiaries to receive assets upon your death and appoint an Executor to carry out your directions.
- Create Trusts, when appropriate, to manage and protect the inheritance of minors or persons with disabilities. The trust can be created in a Will or by a separate document. You and your attorney can discuss which is most advantageous for you.
- Appoint Guardians, both in your Will and with a standby designation, to assure that your minor children will be raised and cared for by persons you trust in the event of your death, incapacity, or absence.
- Designate a Health Care Agent to make medical decisions for you in the event you are unable to make them yourself, and to provide your family with directions regarding extraordinary medical care.
- Designate an agent under a Power of Attorney to make legal, financial, and business decisions for you. This will help avoid the cost and delay of court proceedings in the event you are incapacitated.
Whether you are creating a million-dollar trust for your children’s education or just making sure your favorite nephew gets your comic book collection, don’t put off planning your estate. Don’t let the courts and the default provisions in the law determine outcomes for you and your family. Be proactive and create a good estate plan. The peace of mind and security for your loved ones will be worth the time and expense.