If you’re a parent, you always have your children’s best interest at heart when you make decisions regarding their future. However, do you know what will happen to them if you’re no longer around? A recent article highlighted some things you can do to protect your children’s future if anything happens to you.
Designating Guardians. You can name guardians for minor or disabled children in a last will and testament and/or a form which only designates guardians and does nothing else. You should speak to your Houston estate planning and probate attorney to determine what best fits your needs. You should talk to any potential guardians before naming them in your documents to be sure they are willing to accept the responsibility.
Establishing a trust. If you have children and die, there will need to be a mechanism for them to receive assets and arrange for someone to manage those assets. A common approach is to create a trust in your last will and testament that holds your assets for the benefit of your children. You can have one trust for all of your children or have a separate trust for each child. You will also appoint a trustee for the trust, who will manage the trust assets and make distributions to the beneficiaries (your children). The trustee can (but does not have to) be the same as the person or persons named as guardian of the children.
Life and Disability Insurance. Life insurance is often the most cost-effective way to insure that that your family is provided for in the event of your untimely death. It can provide money for paying for you children’s educations and providing them a place to live until they leave home. You can name the trust created in your will as the beneficiary of a life insurance policy, which will insure that the death benefit proceeds are placed into a trust for your children, which will protect the proceeds from creditors of the beneficiaries. Long-term disability insurance will provide you with the cash you need to pay your monthly expenses if you become injured or disabled and cannot work for a long period of time. You should speak to your financial adviser or insurance agent for information on what type of coverage is the best fit for your needs.
Living Documents. It is imperative that you have a financial power of attorney and a medical power of attorney in which you name agents who will make decisions regarding your finances and healthcare decisions if you become incapacitated. You should have these forms drafted by a qualified Texas estate planning attorney.
While nobody likes to think about dying, a little forethought and planning can provide peace of mind for you and insure that your children will be taken care of if anything happens to you.
See Military.com (February 27, 2015) “Protect Your Children’s Future”