Estate planning advice for young parents

Young parents often have a number of unique issues when it comes to estate planning. This is because younger parents are more likely to have small children who require special consideration. Young parents in Wisconsin and elsewhere should focus on a few things when formulating an estate plan.

Guardianship

A guardian is the person who will look after children if their legal parents pass away. Individuals are generally allowed to designate a guardian for their children in a will, and they can also designate a substitute guardian if the primary guardian refuses to assume the duties of being a guardian. A court ultimately has discretion about whom to appoint as guardian, but judges often take the wishes of parents into consideration when making this determination.

Trusts

Young children may not have the financial responsibility needed to manage assets they are given after parents pass away. A trust allows a trustee to manage assets for a beneficiary and give more control over the assets to individuals other than the person for whom the trust is created. Trusts have tax benefits and other advantages, so it is important to speak with an experienced estate law attorney to see if this option is appropriate for you.

Age restrictions

When making a bequest to young children under a will, parents often wish to establish a certain age at which the child will receive the assets. This ensures that children only receive assets when they are old enough to make financially responsible decisions.

Other conditions

Young parents may wish to make bequests contingent on their children reaching certain milestones. For instance, parents could specify that a child only receives a bequest when they graduate from college or get married. Such conditions can be made using a few legal tools. Young parents wishing to make an estate plan to provide for their children should speak with an experienced estate planning attorney about these tools.