Protect and Provide for Your Children
If you have no plan in place, the Court would name a guardian. Sometimes this is after legal battles over your children between friends or family members. If the Court does not consider anyone a suitable guardian, your children could become wards of the state. You would essentially, have no influence over your children’s future.
One of the main reasons to establish an estate plan is to designate who will care for your young children in the event that you die early or become incapacitated. Your estate plan can designate someone you trust and who shares your values as a guardian to your children. Such a person would be a surrogate parent and raise your children to adulthood. By choosing your children’s guardian, you can enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing that you are giving your children the best chance to grow and develop as you would choose.
Designate how your children’s upbringing will be funded
In addition to designating who will raise your children, an effective estate plan can also provide instructions on how their upbringing will be funded. If you die early, the person you designate to take over for you as a trustee will follow the property distribution instructions that you lay out in your estate plan. Part of your plan can be to periodically release funds to your children’s guardians to support their upbringing. This way, you can assure that the guardian has the means to provide adequate clothing, food, shelter, and other benefits that you would like your children to have until they are adults.
Provide for your children’s college, trade school, weddings or mission trips
When your children become adults, you can direct the trustee to release funds that provide for their college education, trade school, weddings, or mission trips. This is a tremendous benefit to having a trust. You are not limited to only what the state laws would provide. You can customize your estate plan with instructions only limited by adequate funding and your imagination.