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Do young parents need to have an estate plan?

While you might think that estate planning is only for elderly people, this isn't the case. In fact, that thought could seriously affect your children if something happens to you.

It is a horrific scenario that no parent wants to contemplate, but thinking about what will happen to your children if you pass away is something you should do. Here are some points that you need to think about when creating an estate plan for a young family.

Who will care for your children?

This question is a huge concern for parents. If you and the children's other parent pass away, you probably don't want to think of your children going into foster care, which could mean being split up and placed with strangers during a very difficult time.

In your estate plan, you should name a guardian for each child. This is a big responsibility, so make sure the person you choose for each child is able to handle that. Each person must also be willing and ready to step up to the plate, so speak to them before you name them as a guardian.

If you have more than one child, you can name one guardian who will care for all of them. You can also name a different guardian for each one. It depends on the circumstances of the situation and what you and the guardians feel most comfortable doing.

What else do I need do?

You should include provisions that will allow the person to care for your children. This can include naming the guardian in your will and setting up trusts. A life insurance trust can help you to provide for your children. You might also want to consider naming the guardian as the person who is payable on death on financial accounts.

You should make sure that the guardian is going to use the money as intended. You don't want the person who is caring for your children to make them go without just so the guardian can use the money for one's own benefit. While many people don't have to worry about this, it is always good to err on the side of caution when your children are concerned.

You can't neglect making arrangements for yourself either. Make plans for the care you want should you become unable to do so. Taking care of this now through living wills and advanced directives can take some pressure off of your loved ones if the worst comes to pass.

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