Why Young Parents Should Start Estate Planning Now
It is a common misconception that estate planning is only for the elderly or the very wealthy. Anyone who has loved ones they want to protect in the event they pass away must have an estate plan in place to ensure that protection is provided for. Young parents often think they do not need an estate plan because they are still building their wealth, or because it is so unlikely that they will pass away any time soon.
Unfortunately, no one knows what is going to happen in the future, regardless of whether it is near or far. For this reason, our St. Petersburg estate planning lawyer outlines why it is so critical for young parents to have a comprehensive plan in place.
Name a Guardian for Your Children
If you become incapacitated or pass away while your children are still minors, they will need a legal guardian. Many people think that naming a “godparent” or having an oral agreement with someone is enough to give them the legal authority to act as guardian. It does not. The law will not recognize these agreements if you cannot name a guardian for yourself. However, by drafting a will that is properly executed, you can name a short-term and long-term guardian who will take care of your children if you pass away. As long as the will is properly executed, your wishes will be fulfilled.
Managing Your Child’s Inheritance
If you pass away while your children are still minors, someone will need to manage any inheritance you have left them until they turn 18 years old. The law presumes that minor children do not have the legal capacity to do this on their own. By creating a trust or using another estate planning tool, you can choose who you want to manage your child’s inheritance in the event that you pass away. Without this future planning, the court will appoint someone to manage your child’s inheritance, and that may not be the person you would have named.
Planning for Incapacitation
An estate plan not only helps you plan for your property and children after your death, it can also be very beneficial during your lifetime. In the event that you become incapacitated and cannot make decisions for yourself, someone else will have to make certain decisions on your behalf.
A general power of attorney can name the person you would like to make financial decisions on your behalf while an advanced health care directive can appoint a person to make medical decisions for you if you cannot. Again, without these important documents in place, the court will have to appoint someone. Not only may a court name someone you do not believe will act in your best interest, but it also leaves the matter open to debate and challenges from other family members.
Call Our Estate Planning Lawyer in St. Petersburg Today
If you are a young parent and have not yet planned for the future, you need sound advice from a St. Petersburg estate planning lawyer. At Legacy Protection Lawyers, helping people plan for the future is all we do. We can create a thorough plan for you that outlines what will happen now, and in the future. Call us now at 727-471-5868 or contact us online to book a consultation and to learn more.