Preparing an estate plan with minor children in mind

| Apr 27, 2020 | Estate Planning

Arkansas parents considering an estate plan may need to decide who will care for minor children in the event of an unexpected emergency. Catastrophic accidents can occur, and they may result in minor children suffering serious emotional and financial injuries. 

Preparing a contingency plan may help children or other family members ease into a new lifestyle that does not deviate significantly from their current one. Establishing a trust that includes documentation covering the care of minor children may bring some comfort while facing a medical emergency or disability. 

Deciding on who can care for children  

By choosing a trusted friend or relative to protect and care for minor children, the named individual has an authorization to act as their legal guardian. Without a designated guardian, however, an official from the state’s Division of Children and Family Services may place minor children in a stranger’s care. 

Many parents neglect to create an effective estate plan. An individual may assume that his or her spouse will take over their shared parental responsibilities. While some parents may have the ability to single-handedly care for children, others may require assistance. 

Creating documents with specific instructions 

Estate planning documents may describe how a guardian handles important issues such as a child’s educational, religious and health care needs. Creating a trust that includes money, property and assets generally requires a competent trustee to manage it on behalf of its beneficiaries. 

Leaving instructions for a guardian detailing how to manage and distribute money could make a significant difference in a child’s care. A trust should have a reliable manager overseeing its assets, as noted by Kiplinger magazine. Before an untimely event occurs, an individual creating a trust may wish to consider training the chosen trustee to manage things properly. 

Updating an estate plan regularly 

Serious illnesses or life-altering events may come on suddenly and require changes to an existing estate plan. Major life changes such as a divorce or death of a spouse may also require updates to a document. 

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