People often assume that estate planning is really just something to think about well after they’re “over the hill.” Many wait to do serious planning until they’re in their 50s and 60s after their own children have left the house and they’ve become grandparents.
Certainly, those who reach these stages in life without an estate plan should be thinking about making one. But it’s important not to overlook the primary reason why young parents — in their 20s and 30s — should also consider estate planning.
What happens to your children if something happens to you?
You hope to always be there for your children, and most parents will be. However, you can’t predict everything, and you must acknowledge that some children lose their parents while they are still minors.
If this happens to your children, what does it mean for them? An estate plan allows you to pick a guardian so that you know someone will take care of them. It allows you to leave instructions regarding medical decisions and your preferences. It gives you the ability to set your assets aside so that they help your children — shifting your retirement savings into educational trusts, for instance. You can even set up a life insurance policy so that the children have the assets they need if you pass away.
Do you need an estate plan?
Don’t think of estate planning as something that means life won’t go how you hoped. Think of it as a way to lovingly provide for your children no matter what the future may bring. If you need a plan, it’s important to consider how to create one that is ideal for your family.