Parents of young children always seem to be busy, and we know that it can be difficult to find the time to think about something that you hope will never happen. With all the “To Do’s” and distractions out there, too many parents simply avoid thinking about a will, trust, or guardianship for their children; hoping that it will never be needed. But your children deserve more than good luck and crossed fingers, and we recommend making 2012 the year that you take the (sometimes difficult) steps necessary to ensure that your minor children are protected no matter what the future may bring.
1. Create a nomination of guardians for your children. The single-most important step you can take to ensure the well-being of your children is to execute a nomination of guardians. This is the document that names who you believe are the best and most loving people to parent your children if something should happen to you. This document is your children’s best protection against unqualified guardians or the foster care system.
2. Talk to your attorney about protecting your children’s inheritance (and in some cases protecting your children from receiving an inheritance too soon) with a trust. With a trust you can ensure that your children will be provided for financially until they reach adulthood, as well as leave a legacy for your children which includes your financial, philanthropic, and educational values.
3. Invest in your child’s higher education. Education is more important than ever in our current economic situation, and parents can resolve in 2012 to secure their child’s education by setting up a 529 education savings plan. This is something that parents can contribute to regularly, as well as grandparents, aunts and uncles, and more. A 529 plan that you set up today will be there even if you can’t be. After all, protecting your child’s future doesn’t stop when they reach 18.
If you have other questions or concerns about how to protect your minor children please contact our office today. We can help ensure your children will be provided for—and that you will have the peace of mind you deserve.