The Importance of Estate Planning With Minor Children

Listen up, parents! This is important. I’m sure there are days when you feel like you’re just barely getting by. Days (and nights!) filled with diaper changes, meal preparation, and errands centered around the care of your children. While the day-to-day routine can be hectic and chaotic at times, it is important to take a step back and do some longer-term planning.

Ask yourself this question: ‘If I (or my spouse/partner) wasn’t here to care for my children, who would?’ No one likes to think about mortality, especially their own, but part of being a parent is protecting and caring for your children even when you are not here to do it.

Having a will is an important part of an estate plan. Not only does your will specify who you want to inherit your assets, it is also the document in which you name a guardian for your children. The person(s) chosen to be the guardian of your children would be legally responsible for them in the event you were unable to care for them or were deceased until the child is the age of majority.

According to the American Bar Association, 55% of Americans die without a will or an estate plan. Dying without a will is called dying ‘intestate’ and means Indiana law (or the state in which you live) will determine which of your relatives will inherit your assets. This also means that if you have minor children, the state’s court system will decide who will be the guardian to your minor children. Do you want the state to determine who will raise your children in the event you are unable? Having a will can avoid this by allowing you to name the person(s) you choose to raise your children.

-       Written by Elizabeth Braden, CFP® Worley Erhart-Graves Financial Advisors