When you have children, it’s extremely important that you have an estate plan in place that can protect them if something happens to you. You should set up a guardianship, so that another party is there to take care of them if you cannot. You may also want to set up a trust to cover their expenses and to have a power of attorney to make sure you’re cared for as well.
Here is more information on each of these provisions and how they may help you.
Create a guardianship
The first thing to do is to create a guardianship. With a guardianship, you’re selecting another person, or a few people, to take care of your children if you can no longer do so. A guardianship may come into effect if you are ill and cannot take care of your children during a moderate or long-term illness or in the case that you pass away suddenly.
When selecting a guardian, choose someone you trust and whom your children know and like being around to make the transition easier.
Make a trust
Another thing to do is to create a trust for your children. That trust can hold your life insurance benefits, for example, if you pass away suddenly. It may also hold other assets you’d like to leave behind for them.
Setting up a trust is a good idea, because the trust is held by a third party. You’ll set the terms of the trust, too, so you will know that your children can receive the inheritance you’re leaving them when they need it most.
Develop your Power of Attorney
If you are unable to care for yourself or children, you’ll want to have your powers of attorney established. That way, your family or friends will have the power to take care of your day-to-day affairs and help with regularly occurring matters.
You’ll want to have a medical directive and medical power of attorney as well, so that there is someone close to your who can make decisions about your medical care on your behalf.
These are three provisions to set up right away. Your attorney can help you put together the forms and discuss the options with any people you’d like to set up as guardians or medical power of attorneys.