Planning for how to provide for your family at your death should be a key objective of estate planning and it is good stewardship. The costs of probating and distributing your estate and the amount of death taxes due may be greater if you have not planned well, which means less to pass to your beneficiaries.
For those with children under age 18, thought needs to be given to whom you want appointed as guardian for your children if both parents died before all are 18 or older. The court-appointed guardian will make all the decisions you as a parent would be making for your children until each reaches age 18. You can include a provision in your Will designating who you want appointed as guardian.
A decision also needs to be made as to whether the share you want to leave to a family member will be given to them outright or whether their share should be managed by someone else, either until they get to an older age or perhaps for the rest of their life if they are incapacitated or just not good money managers.
Including a trust provision in your Will allows you to empower another person to manage the share of a family member beneficiary. Usually the trustee is permitted to use the trust income for the beneficiary and may also be authorized to use trust principal for the beneficiary’s health, education and other needs.
Heed Paul’s admonition in 1 Timothy 5:8 and “….provide for [your] relatives, and especially for the members of [your] household…”
The information in this article is provided as general information and is not intended as legal or tax advice. For advice and assistance in specific cases, you should seek the advice of an attorney or other professional adviser.