If you have young kids, it’s safe to say you have a busy life, especially during the back-to-school period as you get your kids ready for the new school year. Aside from shopping for supplies and new clothes, you’ll have to plan for school runs and after-school activities. With so much to do and juggling it with work and other responsibilities, it’s easy to forget about the future. Safeguarding your kids’ future with a comprehensive estate plan should be one of your top priorities, and there’s no better time to do it than the back-to-school period.

Why Estate Planning Is Important for Parents and Guardians

Being part of your child’s life as they grow, finish school, start working, and build a life of their own is every parent’s dream. Sadly, you may not be there for your children during all those stages.

Even still, you can protect them from unnecessary hardships with an estate plan. Contrary to what many believe, estate plans are not just for the wealthy or elderly. They’re for anyone who has people who depend on them and deeply care for them, especially children.

By crafting an estate plan, you empower yourself to make important decisions about their future and financial security, even if the unexpected occurs. Taking this crucial step demonstrates your love and commitment to securing your family’s future.

What to Include in an Estate Plan

During estate planning, there are several key elements you should consider to ensure your dependents are fully protected in your absence. They include the following:

1. A Will 

The foundation of any estate planning efforts is the will. It allows you to express your desires regarding the distribution of your assets and ensures that your children are cared for by the right people if you’re no longer there to do so yourself. Having a legally sound will is crucial, and it’s something you should prioritize as a parent or guardian should.

2. Trust for Your Children

While the will may dictate how your assets are distributed, children under 18 cannot take charge of them. Set up a trust to reduce the likelihood of disputes over your assets and protect your children’s inheritance.

It will manage your assets according to your desire until the children can assume control.

3. Designated Party With the Power of Attorney

Besides death, you may be unable to attend to your children’s needs due to incapacitation. For such situations, designate power of attorney to someone you can trust to cater to the best interest of your dependents.

Doing so will give that individual the authority to make legal and financial decisions for you, ensuring your business affairs and children’s needs are met.

4. Healthcare Directives

Another element of estate planning is issuing medical directives. Even with a will and a trusted person with power of attorney, it’s important to issue clear directives relating to your medical preferences. Along with guiding the person making decisions on your behalf, it ensures your wishes are respected.

5. Life Insurance 

When you’re no longer around to provide for your family, purchasing a life insurance policy is one of the best ways to give them financial support and stability. To ensure it adequately covers your family’s needs, review the terms carefully.

Consult an Estate Planning Attorney for Peace of Mind

It’s never a pleasant thought to imagine your children growing without you. But what’s worse is leaving them to struggle should something happen to you. Considering the stakes involved, the complexity of the process, and legal considerations, consulting with an estate planning attorney is highly recommended. 

At Brenden Kelley Law, we offer legal services to families in Cleveland, OH, and the surrounding areas. From lawsuits to estate planning, we are ready to assist you. Contact Brenden Kelley Law at 216-644-3359 to get an estate planning attorney you can count on.

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Explore our other Blog Posts on Estate Planning: Lack of Proper Will Fuels Aretha Franklin’s Estate Battle, Understanding Ohio’s Trust Landscape: A Look at 6 Popular Types and Empower Your Future: A Guide to Estate Planning

Additional Resource: PNC Insights outlines essential estate planning components for young families, such as trusts, durable powers of attorney, healthcare powers of attorney, living wills, and the importance of term life insurance​.