While you might think that estate planning is only for older persons who are facing retirement and their golden years, this is not the case. Young families can also benefit significantly through the creation of an estate plan to protect their family’s assets and property which we call our Younger Law™ package. This specially priced package was created as an incentive for younger families to start the planning process. Getting an early start on estate planning can help to ensure that wishes are honored, no matter what stage of life you and your family are in.
The experienced Long Island estate planning lawyers from Davidow, Davidow, Siegel & Stern are available to consult on your estate planning needs. Read on to learn more about the benefits of estate planning for younger families.
Estate Planning Provides Safety and Security Against the Unexpected
The establishment of an estate plan that clearly outlines your family’s goals and objectives concerning your finances goes a long way to securing your family’s financial future in the event something unexpected happens. Even the best-laid plans can be derailed by an unexpected accident or illness. When one spouse becomes incapacitated or passes away unexpectedly before an estate plan was created, it is impossible to incorporate their wishes into the plan.
Parents with a younger family are particularly at risk of encountering the significant difficulties associated with addressing unexpected events without the benefit of an estate plan. While death is likely a long way off, and you’ll have decades to revise and develop your preferences, having a plan in place guards against the unexpected.
Your Last Will and Testament Determines How Your Assets and Property are Distributed
The most common estate planning instrument used is the last will and testament, often referred to simply as the “will”. Your will is the cornerstone of your estate plan and determines the distribution of your assets, names the executor, and also appoints guardians for your minor children. The will is the main document through which you are able to create a legally enforceable plan for how your assets, property, and debts are distributed upon your passing.
The executor is the individual responsible for ensuring that your wishes outlined in the will are actually executed. Guardians are individuals you can select who would have the responsibility for raising your child or children in the event the unexpected occurs, and you are rendered unable to provide care for them. A trustee may also be identified, which is an individual with the responsibility of managing your assets for the benefit of your family in line with the terms of your will.
Wills Require Updates and Alterations as Time Passes and Your Family’s Status and Assets Change
When you create a will, you are establishing a legally enforceable document that clarifies your wishes and preferences at the time the will was created. It is important to know that insofar as you are not incapacitated, you are able to alter and amend your will at any point in your life as you see fit. Over the course of time, the needs of your family will change, as will the assets available.
Updates are often necessary to account for significant changes in your family’s position or status since the last time your will was drafted. A key aspect of wills that will naturally change with time is how your heirs are addressed within.
Wills Name Guardians for Your Minor Children
In the event that an unexpected tragedy occurs and your children are left without parents, who will take care of them? This is a situation that is often very difficult for parents to imagine. However, it is an important decision to make as your children’s guardian will impact their upbringing in every way and will impact them for the remainder of their lives.
One of the more difficult aspects of writing a will for younger parents is the identification of guardians for their children in the event of the parents’ untimely passing. No two families have the exact same circumstances, so the choice of guardian will also vary from relationship to relationship. The person/s who you select to be the guardian/s of your child can be grandparents, siblings, or even close personal friends.
Whatever choice you and your partner make concerning the guardianship of any minor children in your relationship, the court will ultimately have to approve. If you fail to appoint a guardian altogether, the court will hold even greater power to determine the future of your children.
Estate Plans Effectively Manage and Preserve Your Assets
When you pass, your property and assets are distributed through one of two ways:
- With probate
- Without probate
The probate process may or may not be an extensive, time-consuming, and costly process, depending on the facts and circumstances of your case. We can help you determine whether or not a probatable estate is appropriate.
Get Started on Your Early Estate Planning Today
A carefully written estate plan for your young family ensures that your wishes are honored by establishing them in a legally enforceable document. The courts will honor the contents of your will if it abides by New York law, and working with an experienced estate planning attorney is the best way to ensure that it does. See if our Younger Law™ package is right for you.
To discuss your estate planning goals and how to provide for your young family, connect with one of the estate planning lawyers from Davidow, Davidow, Siegel & Stern. Give us a call at (631) 234-3030, or visit our site to schedule a consultation.