During the process of becoming new parents, most couples also become experts at planning – scheduling birthing classes, designing the new nursery, coordinating childcare ... and that’s just the proverbial tip of the iceberg.
But unfortunately, one of the most important things you can do to protect your child is often overlooked: an estate plan. Here are five important considerations you need to discuss with your personal family attorney when setting up an estate plan once your new baby is born:
Guardians and trustees. Parents who delay choosing a guardian for their children often do so because they cannot agree on the “perfect” choice. Guess what? There is no perfect choice – and if you don’t make a choice, the courts will choose for you. You can always amend your decision later if you change your mind. When choosing a guardian or trustee, you need to think about who shares your beliefs and who will naturally be a part of your child’s life. And you need to make sure whomever you choose is willing to take on the responsibility of raising your child if you are unable to do so.
Education. The cost of college is already sky-high; can you imagine what it will be like in another 18 years? You probably want to start saving right away, either through a 529 plan or an educational trust so you can realize some tax benefits while you save.
Passing on your assets. Assets cannot pass directly to children under the age of 18, so you will need to think about setting up a trust and naming a trustee to manage the assets you would leave your children. You also need to examine your beneficiary forms for retirement accounts and insurance policies to be sure your trust is named as a beneficiary.
Avoiding probate. Probate is one of the worst things your loved ones can be forced into just after you’ve passed. Talk to your attorney about setting up a living trust so your heirs can avoid probate and your assets can pass directly to them.
Asset protection. If you are married and have an estate of more than $10.5 million, you will want to discuss asset protection strategies that will help you minimize estate taxes and protect assets for your heirs.
If you’re ready to protect your children through estate planning, call our office today to schedule a time for us to sit down and talk. Because this planning is so important, I’ve made space for the next two people who mention this article to have a complete planning session at no charge. Call 626.355.4000 today and mention this article.
Local attorney and father Marc G. Garlett will also present a FREE Parent Education Seminar where you will learn “9 Steps You MUST Take to Protect Your Minor Children in Today’s Crazy World.” Take control and gain peace of mind knowing your children would have minimal disruption to their lives and their well-being in the event you were suddenly no longer able to take care of them.
In this FREE, informative and entertaining seminar for parents, you’ll discover:
-How to make sure your kids would never be taken out of your home or raised by anyone you wouldn't want.
-How to ensure the money you've been saving for your kids never falls into the wrong hands … and is available to care for your kids immediately.
-How to give your family the gift of knowing everything has been taken care of.
And much more.
All eligible attendees will receive a free gift at the end of the seminar!
Seating is limited. Seminar will be on Saturday, June 21, 2014, 2:00 – 3:00 pm @
Hastings Ranch Branch, Pasadena Library
3325 East Orange Grove Boulevard
Pasadena, CA 91107
RESERVE YOUR SPOT by signing up at the library,
calling 626.355.4000, or visiting www.KidsProtectionPlanning.com/RSVP.