If you are a parent, you’ll need to have a comprehensive estate plan both in place and updated at all times. This can seem like a daunting task, especially because you likely have dozens and dozens of tasks on your to-do list at present already. However, the stakes are too high to justify not making proactive estate planning a priority. In the event that you pass away or become incapacitated by injury or illness without an estate plan in place, your children could be burdened with unimaginable stresses and even denied the kind of care that you desire for them.
As busy as you almost certainly are, it is time to prioritize scheduling some time with a local, reputable estate planning lawyer to discuss your legal needs.
Estate Planning Documents: What You’ll Need
As an experienced estate planning lawyer – including those who practice at Yee Law Group, PC – can discuss with you during a risk-free consultation, estate planning involves the execution of several key documents. Not so long ago, most Americans simply prepared a will and considered their estate planning process complete. However, this is no longer the case. If you’re a parent, you’ll need a minimum of three documents in place to cover your most critical estate planning bases—four, if your children are minors.
- A will or living trust – This document will address how your assets will be distributed upon your death, who will have access to your digital accounts and assets, and how funds directed at your minor children should be handled
- An advance healthcare directive
- Power of attorney designation
- Guardianship designation – If you don’t designate a guardian for your children, the courts will designate one per state regulations, so this is arguably the most important estate planning effort you’ll make if your children are minors
Why DIY Estate Planning Isn’t a Good Idea
If you’re tempted to save some money by crafting your estate plan via free templates that you’ve found online, it is a good idea to resist that temptation. Again, the stakes of your estate plan are simply too high to risk making a mistake that would lead a court to render your wishes unenforceable. You’ll want to work with an attorney to establish your estate plan and then ask them how you can go about easily making sure that it remains current as your life circumstances, needs, and preferences evolve.