Having a child is a life-changing experience. Unfortunately, many young couples with minor children don’t understand the importance of having minimal estate plans in place. Going on about daily life without having any type of measures to ensure the future of your children in case the unthinkable happens to you is just like taking your kids around without a car seat. Nowadays, couples are slowly realizing the importance of protecting their child’s future by making sure they would be able to go on without them.
What Kind Of Documents Should You Have As Part Of Your Estate Plans?
Regardless of your net worth or how many real estate properties you may (or may not) have, it is important to at least have a set of basic documents that would not only express your wishes for what would happen with your property and your assets after you pass away but would also record your preferences for who should take care of your minor children in case you are no longer living.
Do I Have Enough Assets to Need an Estate Plan?
It is common for clients to think that they do not need to make any estate plans because they do not own a lot. However, something as basic as a will can ensure your wishes will be respected rather than leaving important decisions to a probate judge. If you were to die without a will in Virginia, it would be up to the court to decide who would take care of your minor children and how your assets would be divided among beneficiaries. This would be a time-consuming process that would cause undue stress to any surviving relatives as well as to your children. Would you rather have a way to control what happens to your children – or would you want to leave this up to a stranger?
What About a Living Will?
At the Johnson Law Firm, PC, we suggest that every client with minor children should have at the very least a living will and the last will, along with a power of attorney. A living will contains your wishes for the type of medical treatment you would like to receive in case you become incapacitated and unable to make those decisions or speak for yourself. A power of attorney assigns authority to a relative or friend whom you trust to speak for you and make financial decisions in case you become incapacitated or unable to speak for yourself.
This set of documents allows you to have control over important decisions and enable you to express your wishes for healthcare treatment, property and asset division, and – most importantly – who will become the caretaker of your minor children. It is an unpleasant subject to think about, but you can go on and enjoy life knowing that even though tomorrow is not guaranteed for everybody, your children will be taken care of no matter what happens. The Johnson Law Firm, PC can assist you and your family in crafting your estate planning documents and making sure you have the right plans to protect your children’s future and leave a legacy. Contact us for an initial consultation today.