Estate Planning: Just Do It

It goes without saying that parents want the best for their children. We all spend hours researching and seeking advice about nutrition, methods of discipline, education, and all the parenting dilemmas that we face on a regular basis. However, recent polls show that nearly 60% of Americans don’t have wills, which is a gamble with their children’s futures.

Imagine something very uncomfortable for a moment. Imagine that you and your spouse die unexpectedly. Now imagine that you have no input on who will get custody of your minor children. Imagine your family members fighting in court. Imagine that your assets are distributed without your input. If you die intestate (without a will), this uncomfortable thought experiment may turn into a reality. No one likes to consider their own mortality. But for our children’s sake, we must consider it, and take steps so that their future isn’t left up to chance.

A properly drafted will can leave instructions regarding who should get custody of your children. A trust can protect your assets. You can direct the trustee (the person in charge of the trust) how you want your assets distributed to your children. You can ensure that your children are properly cared for, but don’t inherit more money than they are capable of handling while they’re still young. In other words, you can set up a path to care for and guide your children into adulthood, even if you are no longer present.

There are two main ways that you can get a will. The first is Legal Zoom, which allows you to create a very simple will, and even a simple trust quickly and inexpensively online. This can be a great option for young families who want to have something in place to protect their family. However, you cannot obtain legal advice from Legal Zoom. The other option is to see an attorney. While an attorney will be more expensive than Legal Zoom, they can advise you and fully customize your will to suit your family’s needs.

By taking the time to have a properly prepared will, you can have the peace of mind that you aren’t leaving your children’s future to chance.

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please consult your attorney about your particular situation.
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