- It Just Might Happen To You
Most young parents assume they are going to live a long time. Unfortunately, sometimes this doesn’t happen. We all read tragic stories in the newspapers of young mothers or fathers being killed by a drunk driver. The sad article reads… “John is survived by his wife, Jen, and three young children.”
Unfortunately, many of these tragic accidents occur with no strong estate plan in place. I, like you, plan on living a long time. But if I don’t, I know my family will be well protected. I have a great estate plan. You should too.
- Who Will Raise Your Children?
If you and your spouse would both pass away in an accident, who would raise your children? This person is called a guardian. You as the parent have the legal right to name your future guardian. This is typically done in a Last Will.
- How Will They Raise Your Children?
This is often a much more difficult question to answer. Estate Planning isn’t just about the money. We do more for our children than just give them money. We teach them life lessons like “don’t touch the stove, it’s hot.” We also pass on strong morals and beliefs and shape who our children will become. In a great estate plan, you will contemplate these issues and pass on instructions for you children’s future guardians to follow.
- Estate Planning Isn’t Only About Death
Statistically speaking, a young parent is much more likely to become disabled because of a disease or accident, than they are to pass away. A great estate plan incorporates disability planning as well as planning for an untimely death.
You should consider questions like how will your family keep the home if you can’t work. A more significant disability may have you planning for who should raise your children if you can’t. What morals are important for your children to learn? These and other considerations should be set out in your plan.
- Protect Assets From Your Family’s Future Predators
For a moment, I’m going to ask you to consider a difficult scenario: What would your family look like if you died young? Would your spouse remarry? What would your spouse’s future spouse be like? Also, what would happen to all that life insurance money if they would get a divorce?
As an Estate Planner, my wife and I have talked about this issue (what can I say, I’m a hopeless romantic). The truth is that if I died young, I would expect her to remarry at some point. I do want her to be happy. That said, this doesn’t mean I want her future husband to hit the lottery. What would happen if he turns out to be a jerk and they decide to divorce? In my estate plan, I’ve contemplated this and protected some of the money from her potential future divorce. She’s done the same with her plan. It just makes sense to me.