As a parent, you want what is best for your kids. While you can provide a healthy diet, high-quality education and comfortable living space now, a sudden illness or serious injury may take you away from your children’s lives forever.
Estate planning is something that is often easy to put off. Still, part of being the parent you want to be is preparing for the unexpected. Here are a few things all parents should know about estate planning.
If you die, you probably do not want your children to end up in the foster system. With your will, you can designate a guardian to care for your kids after your death. Not only does this ensure your children have a safe place to live, but it also keeps your relatives and friends from fighting over custody.
The cost of raising a child to the age of 18 is currently more than $230,000. If you add on higher education, you can expect to pay thousands of dollars more. While there is certainly nothing wrong with intending to work to support your kids, you also may want to have a backup plan. Setting up a trust ensures your children have access to financial resources if you die unexpectedly.
If your child has a disability or other special needs, you may want to use your estate plan to provide for his or her future as an adult. With a special needs trust, you set aside funds for the benefit of your son or daughter without jeopardizing his or her eligibility for means-tested government assistance, like Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income.
Having children means taking on a set of new responsibilities. Ultimately, by drafting a comprehensive estate plan, you live up to your end of the bargain.