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Why is it so important for parents to make an estate plan?

On Behalf of | Jun 16, 2024 | Estate Planning |

While all adults should have an estate plan, it becomes even more important once you become a parent. The reason is you now have responsibility for someone else’s life, not just your own. And you are going to have that until they turn 18.

It’s not just a legal responsibility either. For most of those years, your children will be physically and mentally incapable of fending for themselves.

As you can never predict when an accident or serious illness might leave you dead or unable to look after your kids, it’s important to assume that it might be tomorrow. By getting an estate plan in place as soon as possible, your family will be prepared for the unthinkable. Things your plan should cover include:

A guardian for your children

If you can’t look after your kids, someone else will have to. If it’s just you who dies (or falls seriously ill), and the other parent is still alive and well they would usually take this role on. If they are already dead or meet their demise in the same incident as you, someone else will have to assume the role of stand-in parent until the children reach 18 years of age. It’s better you choose a guardian, rather than leave it to a court to do so.

Funding for your children’s future

Anything you can do now to have money available for someone who needs to act as a guardian to raise your children will be appreciated. You might also want to put money aside in a trust to pay for things like a college education.

A share of your estate

If you do not alter your estate plan to include each new child they may not get what you want them to have. Learning more about how to cover your children in your estate plan is wise.