Giuliana V. Brockway
As Principal of Brockway Law in Santa Rosa, California, my practice includes estate planning, wills and trusts, trust and estate litigation, trust and estate administration and probate matters.
You read the parenting guides. You have informed opinions on which brand of diapers is right for your baby. You agonized over choosing the right car seat. For new parents, there are a dizzying array of decisions to be made affecting the baby’s well-being. Often overlooked, but among the most vital, is creating anestate plan to guarantee your young children are lovingly cared for and financially looked after should the unexpected happen.
At a minimum, parents of young children should carefully consider the following estate plan documents: a Will, a Trust, and a Power of Attorney for Finances.
Who would you choose to take care of your minor children if you cannot? A Will allows you to nominate a guardian, who is the person who would take over if both you and the other parent were unable to raise your children. The guardian shall be responsible for your children’s physical and emotional care. Among their many decisions include housing, deciding where the children will go to school, ensuring their medical care and safety.
By establishing a trust, you designate a trustee to manage trust assets in the best interest of your children. You can instruct the trustee to use the trust assets for your children’s health, education, maintenance and support during their childhood. If you doubt that an eighteen-year-old is responsible enough to handle a large sum of money, you can choose to distribute the funds or property in increments. For example, your trustee can be instructed to distribute one-half of the inheritance when the child attains the age of twenty-five and the remaining half when the child attains the age of thirty.
A power of attorney for finances empowers your agent to manage your property and act on your behalf if you become incapacitated. Your agent can step in to pay your bills and otherwise make sure your children are supported if you cannot act for yourself.
It is never too early to create an estate plan and for parents of young children, an estate plan brings the security of knowing that your child will be taken care of no matter what happens.
Give Brockway Law a call if you have any questions.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation.