It’s common for new parents to postpone estate planning. You may think that you are too young and healthy to worry about it. The process may seem expensive and intimidating. Or, like many young couples, you may not see the benefits of estate planning. There are numerous reasons why people tend to overlook this important task.
However, the reality is that estate planning should be at the top of any parent’s to-do list. In the event of death or incapacity, an estate plan helps protect the people who are depending on you. With the help of our knowledgeable estate planning attorneys, creating a comprehensive plan is a straightforward and manageable task.
A good estate plan will cover several elements, such as:
- Creating a will
- Naming a guardian to care for your minor children
- Naming an executor of your estate
- Planning for the distribution of your assets
- Making funeral arrangements
Creating a Will and Naming a Guardian for Minor Children
Money can be tight for many young parents. Creating a will at this stage of your life may be less about leaving your assets to your children and more about naming a guardian. The court appoints a guardian if you and the other parent cannot raise your children. This person will be responsible for the care, custody, and control of your child, so it is important to name a guardian in your will instead of letting the decision fall to someone else.
It is also crucial to make sure that someone can act as an agent during your incapacity. An agent, appointed through a power of attorney, is an individual who temporarily makes decisions for your child without you giving up your parental or custodial rights. Choosing an agent during the estate planning process allows you to ensure that your child will be cared for if you become impaired by illness or other factors.
Leaving Assets to Minor Children
If your child will inherit any property or money from you, it is important to consider what will happen to those assets if you pass while he or she is still a minor. Leaving assets outright to a minor child will cause a conservatorship, which is a court proceeding. Your assets will not go directly to your child; instead, the court will appoint someone to manage the finances and property until your child turns 18.
Court-appointed conservatorships for minor children can be filled with uncertainty. There are a number of ways that you can avoid this dilemma. These options include setting up a trust for each of your minor children in your will and nominating a trustee to manage the trust until a certain age.
Learn More About Estate Planning in Colorado Springs
These are only a few of the steps involved in estate planning. Contact our dedicated estate planning attorneys at 719-694-3000 to discuss the legal steps you should take as a young parent. You can always start small and cover the basics before moving on to a more comprehensive plan.
Our estate planning attorneys know that it can be difficult to think about and plan for the worst-case scenarios in life. However, doing so will give you peace of mind. We happily serve families from Colorado Springs, Pueblo, Castle Rock, and nearby areas of Colorado.