For a number of people, estate planning is a painful discussion…at first. Considering why someone needs an estate plan and how it works is not always an easy topic to bring up or to play through in your mind.

However, the future is inevitable and the unknown events that come with it have to be planned for in some fashion or you end up leaving a mess behind. Don’t put it off any longer.

Consider the following questions and start planning now:

  1. Who will raise your children if both parents die? Tough question, but usually there is an answer. The key is making the decision and communicating it in your plan. Otherwise, the courts decide purely on who steps forward.
  2. What if you all die in a common disaster? Parents of young children never really give it much thought, but the family accident scenario is something that should be in every plan. If you don’t decide, then there is a chance that one spouse’s family will be disinherited due to the ‘who survived who’ scenario in a common accident.
  3. Do you have enough life insurance? If you are self-funded and ready to provide for children or other beneficiaries without life insurance, then this shouldn’t be a concern. But if you are still working on building up those assets and financial holdings, consider increasing your life insurance in the meantime. Life insurance is a necessary planning tool, especially when minor beneficiaries are involved. It guarantees that the appointed guardians have funds to care for the minors without spending their own money.
  4. Have you considered a trust? Yes, a trust seems like a complex and expensive thing to some, but simple trusts come into play in almost every plan, especially when managing assets for your young children. A trust will ensure they receive assets only when they are old enough and financially ready to manage the assets themselves.
  5. When do you want the plug pulled? Health care decisions and who to appoint to make those decisions are not always top of mind if you are young and healthy, but deciding now can save a tremendous amount of emotional hardship and confusion later.
  6. Who is the “responsible one”? Yes, the one person who can manage your mess when you are gone. Who is the most financial savvy and trustworthy? Who is up to the challenge and has the time to serve as your Executor or Trustee? It actually doesn’t have to be that bad, but picking the right Executor or Trustee and communicating your plan to them now are musts in your planning.

If you need to take care of answering some of these questions with a will, trust or estate plan, feel free to give us a call at 919-900-4720 or visit our Contact Us page to reach out to our estate planning attorneys.