Making updates to an estate plan is an important step to take in various stages throughout life, and having children is one of these stages. There are several important components of your estate plan that may require adjustment when you introduce children into your life, especially if you are an older parent of young or special needs children.
An estate plan can help to ensure that your children are cared for even after you pass away. It is especially important to designate a guardian or caregiver for young children and those with special needs, as this individual will be responsible for ensuring that your children get the proper attention they need. In choosing a guardian for your children, it is important to only consider individuals who know your children well who are comfortable with your children. Your children must also be equally comfortable with them. If you have children with special needs, it is extremely important that your potential guardian understands their needs and abilities, and is confident that they can provide the level of care and attention that your children require, in the event that you pass away.
Creating an estate plan that is financially supportive of your children is just as important as one that designates their caregiver. If you have young children, you may want to consider creating a trust that will provide for them financially, long after you are gone. Depending on how young your children are, and your financial ability, it may also be beneficial to set up a trust that supports the care of your children throughout the course of their growth. This fund can even be granted the ability to allocate financial resources to the guardian of your children in order to pay for the additional expenses they will incur until your children reach adulthood.
Considering a trust is especially important if you have special needs children. There are specific trusts that can be structured to support the extra costs of care related to your child’s specific living, health, transportation and educational needs. Additionally, you have the ability to set up a special needs trust fund that will retain money for your child without risking these finances being treated as income that might count against necessary disability payments.
In addition to these special estate considerations, it is important to implement basic estate planning components that will support your children after you pass. This includes writing a will that specifies how your assets and possessions should be divided, and ensuring that you have updated the designated beneficiary information on your insurance plans and financial accounts.
The estate planning attorneys at Alperstein and Diener have extensive experience in helping parents to structure estate plans that serve the best interests of their children. We understand that there are special concerns when constructing your estate plan, and that these concerns are heightened when considering the wellbeing of your children after your death.
For additional information regarding estate planning for parents of young and special needs children, or to speak with an attorney regarding your individual estate planning concerns, contact Alperstein & Diener.