There are many things to think about for young couples with kids. What time is soccer practice tonight? Who is picking the youngest up from school today? What are we going to eat for dinner? On a more macro level, “Are we going to save for our child’s college education? If so, when are we going to start?” “Where will we be sending our kids to grade school?” “Do we have enough money for primary education costs?” These are just a few of the questions that need to be answered when a family is being started and when littles are still little. One question that is often overlooked, and understandably so, is “what would happen to the kids if we were gone?”
The reason estate planning is often not top of mind for young people and middle age people alike is that it is simply not a top-of-mind issue. Unless they have had a life event that sparked the thought process, many don’t think about it on their own. Planning for something that feels so far down the road will not be high on the important action items totem pole. Many people are turned off by the mention of it and they do not want to think about the prospects of the end of their life. The reality is that thinking about estate planning at a young age is incredibly important.
While some see the subject as gloomy and scary, estate planning is quite the opposite. The best way to think about estate planning is to think about what it does for the people you love the most, rather than thinking about the situation that would put them in such a spot. Having a will written and in place really is a gift to your loved ones. There is a lot of stress and confusion that can be negated by ensuring you have a will in place. Making sure you have a will is an important step in ensuring the safety of your children and assets when you pass away. Let’s briefly talk about what a will is and what it does.
A will, formally known as a last will and testament, states where/ to whom you want your assets to go when you die as well as who will have custody of your children who are minors. A will is a legal document that can help keep decisions about your estate away from courts and the discretion of judges. For young families this is an extremely important document to have. The ability to choose who will care for your children, rather than that decision being made by a judge, is an ability that should be taken advantage of. This decision also means that there will be a lot of unnecessary strife/discussion avoided amongst family members as to who should get the children and whatever assets there might be. You can have confidence that your children will be safe if something happened to you both. What would have otherwise been a mess to handle, is instead a well-oiled plan.
Again, one of the most important pieces of a last will and testament of a couple is that they decide to whom their assets will go and what assets will go where. Whether you have minor children or not, a will will keep your assets from falling into the hands of people who you do not to have them. Many times this means that close family members will receive the assets when you die. At least that is often how people go about setting up their will. But, family isn’t the only entity that you can will things to. Have a heart for charity or church? You can make sure that the non-profit organizations you love the most will receive whatever amount of money and/or assets you want them to.
Feel free to reach out to us if you need a recommendation for an estate planning attorney!
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.
This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax or legal advice. We suggest that you discuss your specific situation with a qualified tax or legal advisor.