Estate Planning Tools To Help You Protect Your Minor Children
It is frightening for most parents to imagine a scenario in which they cannot be around to care for their young children. Thankfully, most of us will never experience such a problem. But if you have minor children, it is important to put safeguards in place, just in case.
At The Day Law Office, we are proud to help Florida families with all their estate planning needs, including protecting their children’s well-being. As part of your larger estate plan, we can help you appoint a guardian for your minor children and establish ongoing financial support through a testamentary trust.
Choosing The Right Person For Minor Guardianship
It is an informal question that many spouses ask one another: Who would we want to care for our kids if we were not around? Often, the answer is a trusted friend, sibling, parent or another family member. While an informal conversation is a good first step, it is critical to formalize the decision in writing, with the help of an attorney.
The person or people you choose would be taking over all the children’s needs that are currently filled by you and your spouse. Therefore, they need to understand what they are agreeing to and confirm that they are up to the task. It’s a good idea to have a conversation with that chosen person before filing paperwork. You may also want to choose a backup guardian in case the original choice is no longer willing/able to do it if the time ever comes.
Once you’ve chosen a guardian, our attorneys will help you draft paperwork stating your wishes clearly in writing. We will ensure that there are no mistakes or ambiguities that could potentially jeopardize the ability of your guardian to take on their new role.
Providing Financial Support With A Testamentary Trust
What makes a testamentary trust unique is that it is a trust created by your will. You can specify in your will that you want some or all of your estate to be placed into a trust, where it will then be subject to the terms you establish for the trust.
While testamentary trusts aren’t solely used as financial safeguards for your minor children, they are certainly well suited to this task. The trust itself doesn’t exist until after your death, but you set the terms for how it will operate. Those terms can be changed at any time up until your death.
As just one example, you may decide that you want to help your appointed guardian with the costs of raising your kids and want to set money aside for your kids when they reach a certain milestone (turning 18, graduating from college, etc.). You could specify the amount to be disbursed each year while your children are still minors. Once they reach adulthood (or a different milestone), the remainder of the funds will be disbursed at once (or continue to be disbursed periodically directly to them).
Trusts give you much more control over how and when assets are distributed to beneficiaries (compared to a will). Therefore, they are a powerful tool for ensuring your kids would have the financial resources they needed if you were no longer around to provide for them.
Contact Us To Discuss Your Legal Needs Today
The Day Law Office is based in Spring Hill, Florida, and we serve clients throughout the surrounding areas. To schedule your free initial consultation with one of our skilled and caring attorneys, give us a call at 352-200-2382 or send us an email.