Southfield area residents may hear the term “estate planning” and figure it’s something their grandparents find important. But estate planning is a dynamic plan that should be completed by everyone. Couples who have children may find it to be a good time to create an estate plan to protect their family.
There are many things that an estate plan can do to protect a family. A good estate plan for a young family should include the following:
Naming an executor or trustee for an estate plan
This person would be responsible for a person’s financial affairs if they become incapacitated. They can locate and pay bills, distribute assets, hire an attorney, etc.
Naming a guardian for the children
It is important for a family to name a guardian for their children in case something happens to them. If a guardian is not named in an estate plan, then the court will name one which may not be the person the parents would have chosen.
Instructions for distribution of assets
An estate plan can dictate where assets go if both parents die. It can spell out how the assets should be distributed to the children, a charity, or someone else.
Medical powers of attorney
A power of attorney is an important document. It assigns someone with legal authority to make medical decisions on another person’s behalf. Although a spouse usually makes these decisions, naming one or two other people can be a good idea in case a spouse is unable to act.
Part of estate planning should include reviewing the life insurance carried by both parents. Income earned by both parents should be replaced and additional coverage may be needed to provide for children until they are grown.
There are many facets to a good estate plan. Young families should make sure they have a plan in place in case the unexpected happens. A legal professional who is skilled in estate planning can review a family’s needs and make sure they have a plan that protects their family.