Estate Planning: Protecting Your Young Family is an Act of Love!

We all think it won’t happen to us. Having a young family keeps us constantly run off our feet, and it takes a concerted effort just to keep the whole family fed, clothed, and schooled. Estate planning seems a distant and overly cumbersome task. Not so – the days of spending long hours of sitting in the lawyer’s office are over. You can do it yourself! With the help of modern technology, in just 10-15 minutes you can have reasonable protection in place for your loved ones. All you need is the access to a computer with an Internet connection. There are businesses providing online services for creating a last will and testament online, quite often at no cost to you. Everyone should have a will.

Think about this scenario: your children are left with a sitter, and you and your spouse are killed in a car accident. What does the sitter do with the children? What happens to the kids? It is likely that they would have to remain with Child Services until the court can decree where they should end up. By having will in place, this unnecessary and unpleasant potential outcome for your children can likely be avoided.

For a young family, the will’s primary goal is to protect the children. They need the best choice of guardian, and the guardian might need some financial resources. Especially, in a time of crisis, a will provides the clear direction needed to help minimize the discomfort potentially caused to the kids. It is best to appoint both, a primary guardian and a secondary guardian. Be sure to get their consent! The secondary guardian is appointed in case the primary guardian is deceased or is unable to perform their duties for any other reasons.

The guardians should have a way to help cover their costs of raising the children appointed by the will. It is also usually advisable they are appointed to manage the part of the estate left to the children they are caring for. They will manage what the children have inherited, until the children reach the age of the majority (or, as instructed in the will). The age of the majority is 21 years old in most states. The Testamentary Trust is this portion of the will that holds and directs the children’s inheritance, and until the children have reached the age of the majority the funds may be used to pay for personal items, healthcare, education expenses, or other things in support of raising the kids to adulthood.

Of course, we all want to protect our assets as best possible, too. Getting a will is the first step to ensuring some protection. It can direct your assets to the right place, and minimize any uncertainty for your heirs. Don’t leave the decisions to the probate courts. Preserve your assets for your kids, spouse, or others. Accidents happen. Spending 10 minutes to create a will can make a big difference for those you love.

One well known online service offering free will forms, is at www.freelawyer.com. This group has offices in California and other states, and provides these free will forms services as a benefit to families in communities nationwide. The wills can be completed online by following their simple instructions. A free subscription to this service, with your own account provided by FreeLawyer LLC, is also provided. That means, if your personal situation changes or you need to change your children’s guardians in future years, you can easily login to your account and update your will. Creating and keeping an updated will is a true act of love, protecting those you care about the most!

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