Young children are completely dependent on their parents. Even teenagers and college students often need financial, practical, and emotional support from their parents.
If anything happens to you, your children will be in a particularly vulnerable position. As soon as you learn about a pregnancy or adopt a child, it is officially time to start planning for what happens if you die. Creating an estate plan now will protect your children from the worst possible outcomes after your death.
You can protect the inheritance you want your children to receive
Without proper planning, your assets could wind up consumed by your debts or used up by a guardian before your children turn 18. Careful estate planning, including the creation of a trust in your estate plan can ensure that there is something for your children to inherit when they become adults themselves.
You can name a guardian for them
Children who do not have any surviving parent can wind up in foster care and possibly even group homes in some situations. Although the state does make every effort to keep siblings together, sometimes children have to undergo a second trauma after losing their parents because they wind up in different houses than their siblings and rarely get to see them. Naming a guardian for your children in your estate plan means that someone you trust will be the one who takes care of your kids.
Thinking carefully about the needs of your children and what you want to provide for them can help you create an estate plan that optimally protects them if something happens to you.