By Lane V. Erickson, Idaho Estate Planning Attorney
Having practiced estate planning law in Idaho for 20 years I have come to find that the number one concern most people have when it comes to their estate planning is how it will affect or protect or provide for their children. In Idaho, a person is considered an adult if they are 18 years old or older. Anyone who is under this age is considered a minor. Protecting and providing for minor aged children is always an important part of estate planning. Additionally, even though a person may have adult children, they may still have concerns about how their children would handle the money, property, or other assets that they may receive from their estate after they have passed away.
One of the major focuses of estate planning that we assist our clients with is thinking about their children and how their estate planning can help these children. We take the time to go over the circumstances of each of the children our clients have to help our clients understand the choices they have and what they can do to assist their children regardless of their ages. Below are the two most important things that you should consider if you have children and you want to complete or update your estate-planning.
- Guardians to Care for Your Minor Aged Children
The place we always start with our clients is whether they have minor aged children. Again, this would mean a child who is under the age of 18. The reason for this is that the most important decision that you can make is who would be named as the guardian of your children if both parents of the children have passed away.
The good news is that Idaho has specific laws that allow you to nominate guardians in your last will and testament. If you do this, the courts will recognize your nomination and will give the highest priority to the people you have listed in being appointed as the legal guardians of your minor age children. The reason this is important is because it could eliminate potential arguments or family fights that could occur when it comes to determining who should be the guardians for your minor aged children. By avoiding potential legal fights about this issue, you can avoid destroyed family relationships, and can save your family a good deal of time and money.
So, if you have children under the age of 18, you should definitely get your estate-planning done. Doing so provides a concrete plan about who will be named as the guardian of your children so that family disagreements and costly legal fights can all be avoided.
- Helping Your Young Children Financially
The second thing we discuss with each of our clients in their estate planning when it comes to children is how estate planning can create options for these parents to provide for their children financially. If you have minor aged children, there are certain tools and mechanisms you can use within your estate planning to provide for your children. For example, you could create a testamentary trust that would provide financially for your children until they reach the age you believe they would be mature enough to be able to handle their finances themselves. Until they reach that age, a trustee would care for the trust and would use the money, property, and assets in the trust to help your children until they reach the age you have designated.
Having young children is not the only concern parents have. Some parents have children with disabilities or handicaps. Additionally, some parents have children who have addictions or who have simply not displayed the ability to take care of themselves financially for any number of reasons. For these parents, their estate planning can help them provide financially for their children as well.
Once we know the circumstances that exist for a parent with their children, we have the ability to provide a number of options for these parents to choose from. We take the time to explain these options and how they could assist our clients in providing for their children financially. We can also help craft options and mechanisms within their estate planning that provide incentives for their children if parents choose to have these.
The bottom line is that we have assisted numerous clients in creating a customized plan to protect and provide for themselves and their children. We are confident that we can assist you in a accomplishing this as well.
ENLIST AN IDAHO ESTATE PLANNING ATTORNEY TO HELP YOU
Our team of Idaho lawyers can help you with any of your estate planning or probate needs. Whether you are seeking to create or review an estate plan for yourself or would like to help a loved one, we are available to discuss your options and answer your questions at an initial free 30-minute consultation. Call us toll free at 877-232-6101 or 208-232-6101 for a consultation. You can also email Lane V. Erickson directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or stop by our office at 201 East Center Street, Pocatello, Idaho 83201. We will answer your questions and help you solve your Idaho Estate Planning problems.