Do you have children under the age of 18? If you answered “yes”, then here are 2 important reasons why you should have an Estate Plan.
- DESIGNATE A GUARDIAN OF YOUR CHILD. If you and your spouse die when your child is under the age of 18, who will care for him/her? In a Will, you can designate the person who will become the guardian of your child. Without such a Will, a judge will determine who becomes the guardian. A judge may or may not choose the person that you would choose. YOU should make this important choice.
- ENSURE YOUR MONEY IS USED FOR THE BENEFIT OF YOUR CHILD. If you and your spouse die when you have a child under 18, how can you be sure that your money will be spent for his/her benefit? A “Trust” is a tool in which you can designate someone to act as a “trustee” (or manager) of your money after your death. In the Trust document, you can give the trustee instructions on how to spend your money. Those instructions can direct the trustee to spend the money solely for the benefit of your child (for example, for his/her food, clothes, education, medical care, extracurricular activities, etc). The trustee will have a legal obligation to spend the money pursuant to your instructions. This is much better than leaving your money to someone and just hoping that they spend it on your child instead of themselves.