Is a Will enough when parents have minor children?
We last blogged about parents naming a married couple as guardians of the children in their trust and not stating what happens if the couple splits up or dies. Another big problem is when the parents only plan is telling a friend or relative who they would like to raise their kids and how to raise them. Failing to set up a Trust for their kids means the Court will likely distribute their assets, and the whole world will know about it as it's public record. Parents who fail to properly plan could be putting the money they work so hard for, the money they intend to take care of their kids, at risk. There are other problems too. Probate can take a long time. Another problem is that the Court might appoint someone the parents would not have chosen.
Still another problem could be that the children may receive a lump sum of money when they turn 18 with no conditions attached (conditions like college and/or only a percentage given at 18, the rest divided over time). A trust allows the parents to put conditions on the distribution of assets to ensure what they want for their kids is not only what the kids receive, but when and how they receive it. Guardians and successor guardians should be named in the trust in the event something happens to the parents' first choice for guardians. Parents must consider the "what ifs" when planning. As a parent, make sure you address these issues now. If you would like us to help or answer questions you may have, please give us a call at (321) 690-2363 or send us an email firstname.lastname@example.org