How to Consider Your Children When Writing Your Estate Plan

Reviewed and approved by Kathryn Wayne-Spindler

Creating an estate plan is an essential task that everyone should prioritize. However, regarding including children in your estate plan, there are a few extra things to consider. Below are some key considerations to remember when creating an estate plan that includes planning with children

Name a Guardian

First and foremost, you must name a guardian for any minor children you may have. This is a critical decision that will impact your children’s future and should not be taken lightly. When deciding, you should consider factors such as the guardian’s age, location, financial stability, and parenting style. Discuss your choice with the potential guardian before including their name in your estate plan.

Create a Trust

In addition to naming a guardian, you should consider setting up a trust for your children. A trust can help ensure your children’s inheritance is managed correctly until they reach a certain age. You can name a trustee to manage the trust, and they will have a legal obligation to act in the best interest of your children. This can help provide your children peace of mind and financial security, even after you’re gone.

Consider Life Insurance

Another crucial consideration is life insurance. If you have children, it’s essential to have adequate life insurance coverage to provide for them in the event of your unexpected death. Life insurance can help cover childcare, education, and other living expenses. Be sure to review your policy regularly to ensure that it still meets your family’s needs.

Create a Letter of Instruction

Creating a letter of instruction for your children is also a good idea. This document provides guidance and instructions for your children during your death. It can include funeral arrangements, important contact information, and other crucial details. While it may be challenging to think about, having a letter of instruction can help ease the burden on your children during a difficult time.

Involve Your Children in Estate Planning

Finally, consider involving your children in the estate planning process. When you feel they are old enough fully including them in the process can help prepare them for the future. It can help them understand the importance of responsibly planning and managing their finances too.

Creating an estate plan that includes children requires careful consideration and planning. By naming a guardian, setting up a trust, reviewing your life insurance coverage, creating a letter of instruction, and involving your children in the process, you can help ensure that your children are well taken care of, even after you’re gone. While estate planning may not be the most enjoyable task, providing for your family’s future and peace of mind is essential.