Becoming a parent may have been one of the most joyous parts of your life. You may have promised yourself that you would be there for every school event, game, recital, academic success and other important matters going on in your child’s life. Of course, as your child and you have gotten older, you may also have concerns about what could happen if you are not around to be there for your child as you hope.
Though thinking about passing away while your child is still a minor can be heart wrenching, it could help you to create a plan that addresses important matters in your child’s life should an unfortunate event take place. In fact, taking the time to create an estate plan may bring you peace of mind because you know that you have made your wishes known for your child’s care if you and the other parent cannot provide it yourselves.
How estate planning can protect minors
One of the biggest concerns you may have as a parent is who will take care of your child in the event of your passing. When you create a will, you have the opportunity to appoint a legal guardian for your child in that document. This step may put you at ease because you know that someone you trust and, hopefully, someone your child already has a connection with will provide future care.
Other decisions that could help ensure your child’s future security and well-being include the following:
- Taking out life insurance so that the appointed guardian can have extra funds to provide care for your child or to use specifically for college tuition or similar expenses
- Creating a long-term care plan to ensure that your estate does not end up financially depleted in the event that you need such care
- Setting up a trust to protect assets for your child until he or she reaches the age of adulthood or until another time or milestone that you choose
- Naming your child or a trust intended for your child as the beneficiary of retirement accounts, investments accounts or other payable-on-death accounts
In a perfect world, you would have the ability to raise your child well into his or her adult years and hopefully see your child have children of his or her own. Of course, life is not perfect, and unexpected events could befall anyone. Knowing that you have a plan in place to ensure your child’s care and well-being are addressed may be a beneficial gift for you both.