Why Should Young Families Do an Estate Plan? Young couples may often be preoccupied with more immediate concerns than creating an estate plan. You may think you are too healthy to be concerned about an estate plan, you do not own enough assets to need a plan, or an estate plan would be too expensive, but delaying this decision risks severe consequences if tragedy strikes.
By contacting the Law Office of Mark Gullotta, you can speak with an experienced California estate planning attorney who can help you understand the need for preparing for the future by creating an estate plan.
WHY YOUNG COUPLES WITH KIDS NEED AN ESTATE PLAN
Simply put, creating an estate plan helps you place your family in a more stable position, in more ways than purely financial. An estate plan can accomplish this goal through several steps, including:
Naming a Trustee to Manage Your Children’s Inheritance
Young couples often leave all of their property and assets to their children as an inheritance. However, children, especially at an early age, may not be able to manage this inheritance. Further, there may be tax implications and other concerns that dictate the best method to use in leaving an inheritance to your children. Often, many attorneys may recommend creating a trust which holds your children’s inheritance at least until they reach a certain age, such as 18 or 21. Until your children reach this age or meet some other requirement you may decide upon, such as college graduation, you can select someone else to manage your children’s inheritance. This person, called a Trustee, will manage the trust in your children’s best interests to provide for your children according to your wishes. The Trustee may use the children’s inheritance to provide for their education, support, health needs, or other needs provided by the trust created in the estate plan. An estate plan allows you to ensure that your children are cared for financially, even after your death.
Naming a Guardian to Take Care of Your Children
In addition to a Trustee to care for your children’s financial interests, an estate plan can also name a guardian to care for the children if they lose both parents. Generally, if something happens to only one parent, the other parent will continue raising the children. However, if your children lose both parents, they will need a Guardian to care for them. This Guardian is given the same powers as a parent would have over the child’s education, upbringing, religious upbringing, and healthcare decisions. If you do not have an estate plan or fail to provide for a guardian, the Court will typically make its own appointment of a guardian to fill this role. By speaking with a lawyer now, you can name a Guardian that you know and trust to care for your children in the event they tragically lose both parents.
WHY YOU NEED AN ESTATE PLAN EVEN IF YOU DON’T HAVE CHILDREN
Dividing Your Property
Young couples without children may often be incredibly hesitant about drafting an estate plan without any kids to provide for. However, you still need to provide for dividing your assets if something happens to you. Many couples generally provide that all their property will go to the surviving spouse in the event of their death. However, if both of you pass away simultaneously, such as in a car accident, it will be up to the court to divide your property pursuant to California intestacy laws. Or, if your spouse dies shortly after you do, your spouse’s Will could decide how your property is divided. Either way, your property may ultimately be divided in ways you would not choose, and it is essential to have a thorough Will that provides for each of these potential contingencies. Finally, only by creating an estate plan will you be able to leave any of your property to charity or take care of your pets.
Powers of Attorney
Further, your estate plan can and should include choosing someone to make financial and healthcare decisions for you should you and your spouse become incapacitated, such as by slipping into a coma after a car accident. By preparing a durable power of attorney in advance, you can choose someone to manage your investments and assets and deal with any property matters, pay bills, or make healthcare decisions related to your treatment.
Mark Gullotta Is Here to Help You
As a young couple, you and your significant other may be focused on more current concerns, but Mark Gullotta can help you understand the urgent need to create a thorough estate plan that ensures your children will be taken care of in the event they lose both parents. Even if you do not have children, Mark can help you confirm that you are each taken care of in the event one of you passes away. By contacting the Law Office of Mark Gullotta, you can proactively prepare for the future, including any unexpected accidents or tragedies.