Estate Planning for Families and Grandparents
Did you know that over half of Americans do not have a legal will? This is true of both parents and grandparents who have children and teens that could be left behind. Why does this matter? It helps you plan for the unexpected, determines who will care for your children legally and physically, determines if you need different insurance coverage, how loss of income will be handled, and designates asset division. In short, it helps you create a roadmap for your family if the unexpected occurs. Regardless of your age, or your economic status, a will protects your family and your children from complicated probate proceedings, confusion, and potential asset mismanagement.
What Does a Will Protect?
If you or your child’s other parent pass away without a will, the state has inheritance laws in place that allocate a portion of the deceased parent’s estate to his or her children. Unfortunately, without a will in place, the surviving parent must often jump through hoops to get to that money if it is needed to raise the children. If you have a will in place, your children and your assets are protected from this complicated process.
Your will can designate your wishes regarding:
- Who will act as Guardians (or “Tutors” in Louisiana) for your children
- Who will manage your children’s inheritance
- What rights your surviving spouse or partner has to your estate
- When your children’s inheritance is to be distributed to them
- How children with special needs will be protected financially and otherwise
- How your estate will be distributed
- How to streamline the probate process and/or other legal challenges
- How to handle burial or cremation arrangements
Not only are these designations important for parents, they are also equally important for grandparents. As a grandparent, you may want to give your grandchildren property or funds at your passing. Your will ensures that your grandchildren get what is meant for them, regardless of what other family members want or think is fair.
Making Sure Your Children Are Cared For
A will provides the peace of mind that parents need when they are worried about what can happen if their children are left without a parent. Take a few extra steps to make sure your wishes are expressed thoroughly, and with your children’s best interest in mind by:
- Creating two wills, one for each parent.
- Choosing an alternate guardian other than you and your spouse for both wills, so that all bases are covered.
- Naming a trustee for your property so that it is managed until your children are of age to do so.
- Creating specific provisions for any children or grandchildren with special needs.
An Attorney You Can Trust with Your Children’s Future
When you are making a will, you need an experienced attorney to help you make sure that every possibility is covered. There may be things that you otherwise forget, or that you are unsure of. Let our estate planning lawyer at Leger Law Group, LLC work with you to create a detailed, comprehensive will for the “what if’s” in life— so you are able to enjoy life and rest easy knowing there is a plan.
Contact our firmat (225) 522-4996 to discuss your will and estate planning concerns.