Most people do not think about writing their wills until they are older and facing their mortality. However, as we have addressed in previous posts, adults can never be too young to start thinking about their estate planning.

There are many reasons to update your will, such as getting married, having children, obtaining significant assets or getting divorced. One of the most important things for Florida residents to consider during their estate planning is how to provide for minor children after an unforeseen death.

    Hopefully, your children will never experience the tragedy of losing both parents before they become adults. However, it is impossible to predict the future. The only thing you can do is plan for an unlikely event to ensure your children are cared for financially and physically if you and your spouse die. If you still have children under the age of 18, you might consider the following:

    • Naming someone you would prefer as a legal guardian for your children
    • Designating a custodian or property guardian to manage the children’s inheritance until they come of age
    • Creating a trust to address your children’s physical, emotional, educational and financial needs
    • Addressing specific details in a trust for young adults, who may not yet be able to wisely manage their inheritance

    It is understandable to not want to think about leaving your children without their parents, and thus put off making your will or trust. However, if you die without a will, a probate judge will step in and make decisions he or she feels is in your children’s best interests, which may not be in accordance with your wishes. For example, the court may award custody of your children to their grandparents, when you would prefer that their aunt and uncle take care of your children because their parenting beliefs are more in line with yours.

    Creating your will does not have to be complicated or take a long time, and it can give you the peace of mind knowing that you will continue to take care of your loved ones after your death.