Arata, Swingle, Van Egmond & Heitlinger Arata, Swingle, Van Egmond & Heitlinger
Planning for Children

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How Do I Include Minor Children in My Estate Plan?

Modesto Estate Law Attorneys Ensure Estate Plans Provide for Children

You work hard to provide for your family’s needs. For this reason, you want to protect them and your legacy, especially if your children are minors. However, sometimes there are complicating factors that make it difficult to determine how to include your children in your estate plan. For instance, a child may be unable to handle an inheritance or duties responsibly. Worse, unintended consequences from unstoppable life events could disrupt even the most thoughtfully constructed estate plans. Divorce, loss of employment and healthcare costs can quickly drain assets without proper planning. If you are planning for your children’s futures, then a legal professional can make a big difference. Our Modesto estate law attorneys can help answer your questions and draft comprehensive estate plans for children.

The estate planning lawyers at Swingle, Van Egmond & Heitlinger know what it takes to protect your assets. We have seen the impact of cost of care, divorce and other life events deplete assets from unprepared parents. Thus, we use every resource available to help our clients secure their family’s future. If you feel overwhelmed or confused, then our Modesto estate law attorneys can help. Our success stems from our experience and compassion. After hearing your story from your point of view, we present every resource and option that can protect your interests.

What Are Common Issues With Estate Planning for Children?

Most people believe they can jointly title assets with children as a simple strategy to protect investments. However, there can be drawbacks to enacting this strategy without an estate planning attorney. For example, you need to determine how responsible your child is; it could be that you have concerns that your child is unprepared to deal with these obligations. Alternatively, your child’s youth is inherently a risk, as many life changes can occur as he or she grows up. Thus, it is in your best interest to contact Modesto estate law attorneys that plan for children. Ultimately, legal professionals can help you avoid common pitfalls some families fall into. Some issues with estate planning for children that an attorney will consider include:

  • Divorce: The threat of divorce can put your whole family’s assets in jeopardy. For instance, if you place assets in your child’s name, then these assets can sometimes still be split in the event of divorce. Fortunately, estate planning for children can mitigate this risk.
  • Healthcare Planning: California Medi-Cal planning for you or your spouse is important. However, a revocable or irrevocable trust can do more than establish a plan for long-term care. In addition, you can prepare for injuries that may occur in your child’s life. As a result, you can reduce the substantial risk to estate assets from medical bills.

How Can Estate Planning Benefit Children?

As a rule, attentive estate planning is important to any parent. In most cases, young adults inherit property through a guardianship or trust. Generally, these legal documents can help you determine your assets, including home equity and work insurance policies. In addition, estate planning allows you to control the distribution of your other property to your children. Our Modesto estate law attorneys can examine your child’s needs and help draft a plan that is in everyone’s best interests. This may include establishing a revocable trust and irrevocable trust or other plans, such as:

  • Wills: Parents should have a will in place to create a financial blueprint, designate guardians and dispose of property. In addition, a will can help uncomplicate issues in case you become a single parent. Perhaps most importantly, a will can determine what happens to your minor children in the event of your death.
  • Disability: You should have a plan in place should you or your spouse become incapable of caring for your children. For example, a living will with power of attorney can help facilitate medical decisions.
  • Financial Planning: Unfortunately, distributing assets can be difficult. You might be concerned about your child’s ability to manage assets responsible. However, a well-drafted trust can designate a trustee to manage funds.
  • Guardianship and Custody: Generally, the court will make decisions based on the best interest of the child. However, surviving family and potential guardians can be unfit, unwilling or unable to care for your child. As a result, an estate plan for children should include provisions for conditions that determine parental rights.

Questions About Estate Planning for Children? 

Concerns about your child’s ability to responsibly handle your assets? Questions about how you can protect your family with a will or trust? Unfortunately, without an estate plan, your family and assets could be left to the California court system. Furthermore, in the event of an injury that affects capability, a guardian may become unfit to care for your children. Our Modesto attorneys can help you mitigate risk, establish safeguards and protect your legacy.

Contact Our Modesto Estate Law Attorneys Now for a Free Consultation

Navigating estate planning law for children can leave you feeling overwhelmed. After all, it is hard to imagine something more important than your children’s wellbeing. Fortunately, there are tested and reliable legal processes that can bring you peace of mind. Contacting a professional is the first step. If you have questions about planning for your children, then our firm can help. 

Call us today at (209) 340-1110 or contact us through our website. We can review your estate with a free consultation and let you know what options are available.

“This firm exemplifies how a multi-faceted group of attorneys can work together to achieve positive results.”

- James M.
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