Do It Now: Name a Guardian for Your Minor Child(ren)

We know it’s hard.  Thinking about someone else raising your children can stop you in your tracks.  It feels crushing and too horrific to consider.  But you must.  If you don’t, a stranger will determine who raises your children if something happens to you – your children’s guardian could be a relative you despise or even a stranger you’ve never met. No one will ever be you or parent exactly like you, but more than likely, there is someone you know that could do a decent job providing for your children’s general welfare, education, and medical needs if you are [...]

By |2021-09-21T17:45:29+00:00April 5th, 2019|Categories: Estate Planning, Guardianship|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Parental Warning: If You Own Your Property This Way, You May Accidentally Disinherit Your Own Children

Owning property as Joint Tenants with Right of Survivorship is easy, common, and often disastrous.  Sadly, children – both minor and adult – are often disinherited. While there are several forms of joint ownership, the one most people use (and the one considered in this discussion) is called “Joint Ownership with Right of Survivorship.” When one owner dies, the jointly owned asset automatically, by operation of law, transfers to the surviving owner. Joint ownership is a very common way for married people to own their assets. Joint ownership is also commonly used by aging parents and their adult children. Joint [...]

What Estate Planning Awareness Means For You

The third week of October is National Estate Planning Awareness Week (Oct. 15-21, 2018). Estate planning is important for everyone regardless of wealth or family status because if you become incapacity or pass away without an estate plan, you are leaving the distribution of your assets subject to state law – and the results may not be what you want or expect. Estate Planning Explained Estate planning includes the growth, protection, and transfer of a person’s wealth through the creation and maintenance of an estate plan. The concept of estate planning is important and twofold: (1) to have a strategy [...]

By |2021-01-27T11:55:09+00:00October 15th, 2018|Categories: Design, Estate Planning|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Should Your Child’s Guardian and Trustee be the Same Person?

If you have overheard any discussion about estate planning, you have likely heard the words “guardian” or “trustee” tossed around in the conversation.  When it comes to estate planning, who will be ultimately in charge of your minor child is an important decision that requires consideration of many factors.  Although there is no substitute for you as a parent, a guardian is essentially someone who steps in as a parent, assuming the parental role and raising the child through adulthood.  A trustee, on the other hand, is in charge of managing the financial legacy that has been left behind for [...]

Five Considerations When Selecting a Guardian for Your Children

There is no question that having children changes everything — and estate planning is no exception.  If you and your spouse pass away or become legally incapacitated, and arrangements were never made in the event of such an emergency, your minor child or children will have to be placed with a new family.  Not surprisingly, such a drastic change can be a disruptive process for minor children — even if they are placed with members of your family.  If you choose a guardian for your child in your will or other estate plan documents this difficult time can go much [...]

By |2021-09-21T17:58:28+00:00August 23rd, 2018|Categories: Estate Planning, Guardianship|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Protecting Your Children’s Inheritance When You are Divorced

Consider this story.  Beth’s divorce from her husband was recently finalized.  Her most valuable assets are her retirement plan at work and her life insurance policy.  She updated the beneficiary designations on both to be her two minor children.  She did not want her ex-husband to receive the money. Beth passes away one year after her divorce.  Her children are still minors, so the retirement plan and insurance company require an adult to be appointed to receive the inheritance Beth left behind.  Who does the court presumptively look to serve as the caretaker of this money?  Beth’s ex-husband who is [...]

How to Leave Your Life Insurance and Retirement Plan to Your Minor Children

Your children are your pride and joy.  It is no surprise that at some point or another, every parent likely becomes concerned about who will care for a minor child or children if one or both parents die or are incapacitated.  From a financial perspective, many parents turn to life insurance in an effort to take care of their family in the event of death.  While it is true that life insurance is a particularly helpful financial tool to protect your loved ones, it is just as important to consider how to leave the proceeds to your minor children.  Beyond [...]

IRAs, Annuities, and Guardianship – Providing for Your Minor Children After You Die

IRAs, Annuities and Guardianship: Providing for Your Minor Children after You Die Deciding on a guardian for your minor children may very well be the most vexing decision you’ll make regarding your estate planning.  Not only must you trust the appointed guardian to raise your children as you’d want them raised, but you also need that person to be financially responsible with your children’s inheritance.  For example, if you have an IRA or an annuity that you wish to pass to your minor children, how can you ensure those funds will be used properly—especially if the person you trust most [...]

How to Leave Assets to Minor Children

Don’t Make These Common, Expensive Mistakes: How to Leave Assets to Minor Children Most parents want to make sure their children are provided for in the event something happens to them while the children are still minors. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, and good friends sometimes want to leave gifts to beloved young children too. Unfortunately, good intentions and poor planning often have unintended results. Don’t make these common, expensive mistakes. Instead, here’s how to both protect and provide for the children you love. Common Mistake: Don’t Use a Simple Will to Leave Assets to Minor Children Many parents think if they [...]

By |2021-09-21T19:15:29+00:00July 16th, 2018|Categories: Estate Planning|Tags: , |0 Comments

Declare Your Independence from Court Interference!

While the rest of the nation celebrates its independence on July 4th, you can rest assured that you too can declare independence for your family — from court interference.  Life can be unpredictable.  Whether it is a financial issue, the birth or adoption of a child, sickness or incapacity, it is important to be prepared with proper estate planning.  In fact, failure to put together a comprehensive estate plan can leave you and your loved ones at the mercy of the court when it comes to distributing assets or caring for a minor or sick family member. Estate Planning Basics [...]

Isn’t There Already a Law That Leaves Everything to My Spouse and Kids?

Many people think that if they die while they are married, everything they own automatically goes to their spouse or children. They’re actually thinking of state rules that apply if someone dies without leaving a will. In legal jargon, this is referred to as “intestate.” In that case, the specifics will vary depending on each state’s law, so where you live when you die can significantly change the outcome for your family. However, the general rule is that your spouse will receive a share, and the rest will be divided among your children. Exactly how much a spouse will inherit depends [...]

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