5 Things All Parents Need to Know About Estate Planning

When you're a parent, estate planning is one of the most important things you can do to help protect your loved ones. Here's what you need to know to get started.

One of the most important things you can do for your children is to plan your estate. Estate planning doesn't have to be complicated or time-consuming. In fact, with the guidance of your attorney, estate planning can be a fairly straightforward process. When you have kids, it's important that you begin thinking about what will happen to both your family members and your assets should you pass away unexpectedly. Careful planning can help protect the people you love the most. Here's what you need to know.

1. You need to create a will.

Creating a will isn't something you should wait to do in your retirement. Instead, make sure you create a will as soon as possible. Your will is an important document that will let your heirs know exactly what your wishes and desires are for your estate. Your will can also specify what your desired funeral arrangements are, as well.

2. It's important to choose a power of attorney.

When you meet with an attorney to plan your estate, you'll want to consider appointing someone to be your power of attorney (POA). This should be a person you trust and respect. They should understand what your wishes are because they'll be able to act on your behalf should you become unable to make decisions for yourself.

3. You can select a guardian.

Don't leave the future of your children's lives up to chance. Instead, talk with your attorney about naming a guardian should you pass away before your children are adults. The guardian you select should be someone who knows your children and whom they are comfortable with. Additionally, you should talk with them ahead of time about being named as a guardian to ensure they're okay with the idea and ready to take on that level of responsibility.

4. It's important to talk with your kids.

Make sure you discuss your estate planning options with your kids. Whether your kids are teenagers or young adults, it's important for them to be included in your decision-making. Keep in mind that they may have some very specific opinions as to who you select as a potential guardian, how you distribute your assets, and even how you arrange your funeral. While your estate planning decisions are very personal, try to include your children as much as possible in the planning process.

5. Your lawyer can answer your questions.

Make sure you meet with an attorney when you're ready to start planning your estate. A lawyer can help answer your questions and will assist you in developing a thorough will. Additionally, your attorney can explain how creating a trust will benefit you and your heirs if that's something you'd like more information about.

When you're ready to start estate planning, reach out to an attorney who can help you with the process. You deserve the best help possible and an experienced estate planning attorney can offer you an incredible amount of assistance.