Parents of minor children should certainly take action when it comes to estate planning. Statistics tell us that younger adults are quite remiss when it comes to the execution of estate planning documents. They may have some reasons that make sense to them, but you put your children at risk when you do not take preventative measures.
Nominating a Guardian
One of these preventative measures would be the nomination of a guardian. You can nominate a guardian when you are drawing up your last will.
If the parents of a child pass away together in a tragic automobile accident, who will care for the child? The court would have to make this decision if the parents did not nominate a guardian within their estate planning documents.
The person who is appointed by the court may not be the individual that the parents would have chosen. Plus, regardless of the court’s ultimate decision, there could be serious disagreements among surviving family members along the way.
When you nominate a guardian you empower someone of your own choosing to care for your children in the event of the passing of both parents.
It should be noted that the court is not absolutely compelled to concur with your nomination. The court must exercise due diligence and make sure that the person who is nominated is capable of handling this formidable task.
This being stated, the court is usually going to honor the nomination unless there is some type of serious problem with the nominee.
When both parents are alive and capable of caring for the child or children, the nomination of a guardian is important. However, it is especially important for single parents, because a single death can leave the children without a caregiver.
Estate Planning for Young Adults
If you are a young adult you should certainly take action to put an estate plan in place. It is absolutely essential if you are a parent, but it is a responsibility that every adult should take seriously.
Everyone has things of value, and we all have people that we love who would miss us if we were gone. Estate planning is something that you do for the benefit of the people that you care about.
There is also the matter of possible incapacity. If you were to become incapacitated and unable to communicate due to a catastrophic illness or accident, how would you want doctors to proceed if there was no hope of recovery? Would you want to be kept alive indefinitely via the utilization of artificial means?
This is a question you answer through the execution of a living will, which would be a part of any comprehensive estate plan.
Even if you are in your 20s, 30s, or 40s, if you do not have an estate plan in place, you are ignoring one of the core responsibilities of adulthood.
We invite you to attend one of our free living trust seminars to learn more about the importance of estate planning. For more information, follow this link: Free Estate Planning Seminars.