When you hear the words estate plan, you may have preconceived notions of people making one on their death beds. However, one may benefit from having an estate plan even early in married life and parenthood. It can provide peace of mind when you know that those who are closest to you will be protected in the event of a worst-case scenario.
An estate plan is different from a will, and it can protect you, your spouse, and your children in different ways. It can communicate your legacy wishes in no uncertain terms, and it can even help prevent your heirs from having to pay a lot of fees, taxes, and court costs. Here are just a few of the reasons why an estate plan is a good idea for young parents.
1. Financial Security for Your Loved Ones
In the event of a tragedy, having an estate plan is not going to ease the emotional grief one bears, but it can ensure that mourners aren't having to sort out a financial mess on top of other pressures they'll face. The estate plan can detail how your spouse and your children will be able to thrive financially after you are gone.
When you create an estate plan and choose life insurance policies that adequately replace the income that you provide, you can prevent your family from having to face a reduction in their standard of living. Having to deal with that pressure in the middle of grief can be overwhelming, and a well-done estate plan can be a final act of love to take care of your family.
2. Appoint Someone You Trust to Take Care of Your Affairs
If you experience an unexpected, tragic accident or health emergency that leaves you unable to manage your own affairs, you will no doubt want the peace of mind that comes with knowing that the person you trust the most will be in charge. However, if you do not have a plan, the courts may take charge of choosing the person who will manage your affairs.
However, if you instead have an estate plan, you get the privilege of selecting who that person is by choosing who will have power of attorney. A power of attorney (POA) is simply the written authorization that lets someone act on behalf of another when it comes to business or private affairs.
3. Protect Minor Children
If you have minor children, it's important to make sure that you plan for their protection. In the event of a sudden or unexpected death, an estate plan can help you spell out your wishes for who should raise your kids. You may want to consider who would be enthusiastic about receiving custody as well as who would best meet their emotional and financial needs.
An estate plan generally allows you to nominate a guardian for your children, but the probate judge may not always accept the choice if someone challenges it as not being in the kids' best interests. Name a first choice and a second choice in case your first choice also passes away before your children are grown.
Finally, trust a lawyer to help you make an estate plan that will be legally sound so you can protect those you care about after you’re gone. Smith, Massey, Brodie, Guynn & Mayes, P.A. can help you with any estate planning needs you may have. With our help, you can attain the peace of mind that comes with knowing your family will protected no matter what comes your way. Call us today at 803-643-4110 to get started.