For many young couples, estate planning is not often high on their list of priorities. They may feel young, healthy, and immortal. Other couples may feel that they cannot afford estate planning costs. However, in today’s fast-paced world, it’s important to prepare your family for unexpected situations. Basic estate planning can be done at a reasonable cost. A basic plan for estate planning should include the following items:
The first thing a young couple should to do is name a trustworthy person as an executor/trustee for handling the financial affairs of their family. In the event of their death, this person will handle such responsibilities as locating assets, paying bills, distributing assets to beneficiaries, and possibly hiring an attorney.
A Guardian for Any Young Children
This can be a challenging decision. However, it is important for young couples to have a plan regarding who will care for their children should a tragedy take both parents away. Failure to name a guardian will place this decision in the hands of the courts.
Instruction for Distribution of your Estate
While most estate plans provide for assets to go to a surviving spouse in the event of the death of the other spouse, there also needs to be a plan in place for passing the assets on to the children should both parents pass away. This plan should provide a way for the assets to be properly managed for the benefit of the children.
Someone to Manage the Inheritance
The parents should name someone who will manage the inheritance of the children in the event that both parents are gone. This allows the parents to choose someone that they trust and who will carry out the wishes of the parents in properly managing the inheritance. If this is not done, a court will appoint someone to assume this role. This will certainly cost more money and the wishes of the parents may not be realized.
Maintaining Insurance Needs
If one or both parents have passed away, the deceased parent’s income will need to be replaced. In addition, it may be necessary to hire someone to care for younger children at home. Insurance policies are available to cover these possibilities, even helping to pay the costs of your children’s college. You may also want to have disability insurance in place to help replace any income lost due to your disability.
Planning for Disability
If either or both parents should ever become disabled, there will need to be medical powers of attorney. Someone will need the legal authority to make crucial health care decisions if either spouse is unable to do so. By having a designated Healthcare Agent and the required HIPPA Authorizations in place, this gives doctors the permission to discuss your situation with those who need to be involved.