Many young families put off estate planning. If asked, they may say they are too young, healthy or can’t afford it. Some have trouble just thinking about what could happen if they should die while their minor children and spouse are depending on them.
But even a healthy, young adult can be taken suddenly by an accident or illness, and those with young families need estate planning precisely because others are depending on them. Of course, the typical young adult is not expecting to die while his or her family is young, but clients who plan for the possibility are being prudent and responsible ... and showing their familes how much they care.
Naming someone to manage the children’s inheritance. Unless clients include this in their estate planning, the court will appoint someone to oversee their children’s inheritance. This will likely be a friend of the judge and a stranger to the family. It will cost money, which will be paid from the inheritance. Also, the children will receive their inheritance (in equal shares) when they reach legal age, usually age 18. Most parents prefer that their children inherit when they are older and to keep the money in one “pot,” so it can be used to care for the children’s different needs. Establishing a trust for the children’s inheritance lets your client accomplish these goals and select someone he or she knows and trusts to manage it.
Reviewing insurance needs. Part of the estate planning process is to review the amount of life insurance on both parents. Income earned by one or both parents would need to be replaced. Also, one or more people would probably be needed to take over the responsibilities of a stay-at-home parent. Additional coverage may be needed to provide for the children until they are grown, even more if your client wants to pay for the children's college.