When many New Jersey residents consider estate planning, they imagine the manner in which their assets will be distributed at the conclusion of a long and happy life. While this is the ideal outcome of any estate planning effort, it is not the only reason why creating even a simple estate plan is a need that everyone shares. Estate planning offers different benefits for different stages of life. A prime example lies in the need that parents of minor children share to designate guardians for their kids. These needs change obviously as children mature into adults.
No one wants to spend a great deal of time speculating about their own demise. It is even less appealing to think about what would happen to one’s children in the event that one or both parents were to die unexpectedly. However, provisions should be made for that set of circumstances in order to make sure that kids would have the support they would need in such a case.
Choosing a guardian begins with taking a close look at all of the friends and family who would be likely candidates for that role. Once a short list has been created, it is important to sit down and discuss the matter with the intended guardians. Guardians must be able and willing to take on such a huge responsibility. Ideally, they would view the request as an expression of trust and love, and they would view caring for one’s children as a privilege and not just a responsibility.
New Jersey parents should take the time to set up protections that would allow their children to be well cared for in the event of such a loss. This extends beyond simply choosing a guardian as one has to account for life insurance beneficiaries and other financial factors that may necessitate creating a trust. Each and every family is unique, and not all will share the same set of needs in this regard. However, this is a subject that deserves careful consideration, even if the end result is only a simple estate plan.
Source: CBS Boston, “Where There’s A Will There’s A Way!“, Dee Lee, Aug. 27, 2015