As a parent, you want to provide for your children in the best way possible. A proper estate plan may help you in providing for and protecting them beyond your lifetime, and throughout the rest of their own.
An estate plan can be comprised of several different documents. There are three key elements to incorporate into a successful plan.
Executor and power of attorney
An executor handles the proper administration of your estate after you pass, while a power of attorney takes care of your affairs if you become incapacitated. These parties may be the same person or separate, and you may have different POAs for your financial and health needs. At the end of the day, you want to make sure that you select people that you trust to fulfill your wishes when you cannot, and to operate in the best interest of your child. Also, they need to be able to fulfill the positions legally, by fitting the set criteria.
The appointment of guardianship may be your most crucial designation within an estate plan. The state code for the administration of guardianship provides a full layout of the requirements and restrictions related to fulfilling the role of a guardian. You should denote a primary guardian and a secondary guardian, in the case that the primary party passes away as well, or for any reason is not able to fulfill the guardianship responsibilities. If the primary guardian lives out of state or country, it may be beneficial to designate a temporary guardian to take care of the child until the primary guardian can arrive.
A trust can aid you in designating the proper distribution of the estate. There are different types of trust that provide various benefits. Some trusts help to manage probate payments, while others ensure distribution of assets over time. Do your research on the available trusts to determine the best choice.
By incorporating these elements in your estate plan, you can set the foundation for a solid plan for your child, even when you are not here. Even if you have already put an estate plan in place, it may be beneficial to review and modify it periodically.