When talking about estate planning with young people many of them visualize the process as something they do not need to be concerned with for years to come. Others think estate planning is expensive, or why would they do it when they have such few assets? Young people often equate estate planning with death, which is something many of us do not want to consider. However, no matter how uncomfortable a discussion it may be, no one can predict what is going to happen in the future. That is why estate planning for young families is so important. There is a lot more to estate planning than just giving away the money you have earned. Over the next few weeks, I am going to be addressing some valuable estate planning concepts for young South Dakota families. The first will be to determine who will take care of your children.
Determine who will take care of your children. This is a discussion that many parents have had, but few actually put their decisions down on paper. Because young parents have not made their wishes directly clear, there is a possibility for a dispute to arise between both families that can be unfortunate and very expensive. However, parents can avoid this unpleasant situation with some relatively easy and inexpensive estate planning. By naming a guardian in their Will, parents can designate the person they want to care for their children. This designation will help avoid family conflicts and will provide a smoother transition for a child who has already lost so much.
There are numerous considerations to make before naming a guardian.
- Ask – It is important to ask the individual to serve as the guardian. As parents you may think an individual is the perfect fit, however that person may not be willing to take on the responsibility.
- Beliefs – Whether moral, political, or religious, this person is filling the role of the parents, and the parents should consider the individual’s personal values.
- Location – Moving a child out of their comfort zone after losing their parents could be detrimental. Consider where the individual lives and the type of neighborhood they live in.
- Lifestyle – Consider the individual's work schedule and social habits.
- Finances – Many young families are not leaving their children with a substantial amount of financial assets. When appointing a guardian, determine whether the guardian can afford to raise the child.