Estate planning for young families and young couples is often overlooked. Who wants to think about what will happen after you die? That’s a big mistake.
In reality, estate planning for young families is about more than thinking about what happens to your money after death. From incapacitation decisions to asset protection and inheritance, there is so much to think about.
Let’s take a look at why estate planning for young families and couples is so important:
Who Will Take Care of Your Children?
This is the question nobody likes to answer, let alone think of. Most people will avoid this question entirely – more than half of American adults don’t have a will.
But let’s put trepidation aside for a minute and think wisely. What would happen in the devastating scenario that you pass away while your children are minors?
Without a plan in place, surviving family members tend to end up in fights over who will become the child’s guardian. And then the courts have to decide.
You wouldn’t want your children left with someone you don’t trust.
That’s how estate planning can protect your kids and your vision.
By naming a guardian in your will, you can ensure your children are protected in this nightmare scenario.
This is the number one reason why estate planning for young families is important.
Time to Think of Life Insurance
On the topic of protecting your children, let’s talk about life insurance.
The number one benefit of life insurance is to allow your children to remain protected and able to live out their dreams should you unexpectedly pass away young.
If you’re no longer here to financially support your children, life insurance can pay outstanding debts, support a quality standard of living and even pay for education and college.
For most young families, life insurance is affordable. However, there are various different policies available.
To Help Your Kids Financially
If you pass away before your children turn 18, your children wouldn’t be able to control their inheritance. The Florida courts would likely appoint someone to manage assets – leaving uncertainty and risk.
Trusts solve that problem.
Trusts allow your assets to be managed by a pre-selected individual for the sole interest of the beneficiaries (your kids).
You can decide how the money is used and when your children receive wealth transfers – such as on 21st birthdays, graduations and wedding days.
Trusts aren’t just for the super-rich. Anyone with assets who wants to gain control over how they’re managed after death should consider Trusts.
We understand that the concept can be confusing for some and post-life plans are a tough subject. By speaking to a Florida estate planning lawyer, you can find the optimal solution for you and your family.
Who Will Make Decisions if You’re Seriously Injured?
Suppose you have a serious car accident and you receive life-changing, serious injuries that mean you can longer make decisions yourself. Who will make decisions on your behalf?
It might seem like an obvious answer in your head, but the courts will decide upon an individual unless you have made it clear in documents in advance.
This is especially important if you’d rather have your finances left to someone other than your spouse – for example, some people would rather their accountants or attorneys have the responsibility, rather than the burden placed on their spouse.
Whether it’s medical decisions or financial decisions, this must be someone you can trust – for the good of yourself, your finances and your family.
Estate planning can allow you to ensure your selected person gains power of attorney to manage finances and care decisions.
What Would Happen to Your Pet?
Estate planning for young families can be very important even if you don’t have kids. For some young couples, they live with only a cat or dog.
Like with children, there is a way to protect your pet’s future even after your death.
Pet trusts allow you to ensure your pet has designated funds to protect them. You can select an individual to manage the pet trust on the pet’s behalf. They then will be ensured finances for things like food, veterinary bills, travel, grooming, training and equipment.
The trust’s funds are for your pet and your pet only. In Florida, pet trusts are legally binding contracts that ensure the trustee must act in your pet’s interests.
You can also decide who would be the pet’s new caregiver.
Sadly, every year between 5-7 million pets enter animal shelters due to the death of their owners – pet trusts can prevent this and ensure your pet lives their happiest life, even if their own is gone.
To Avoid Stressful Probate
Probate is the process of officially proving a will, gathering and valuing assets before distributing them to beneficiaries.
Probate is often long, slow and tiring for all involved.
Thankfully, there are ways to ensure your children and surviving spouse avoid probate through options such as living trusts.
By placing assets in trusts, you can ensure that your family gets these assets directly and quickly.
This can be especially beneficial for young families with children and pets who need quick financial support without slow, stressful legal battles.
Asset Protection for Creditors
One of the other reasons why estate planning for young families is so beneficial is asset protection.
Whether you’ve got hard-earned assets to your name or assets passed down through the family, these can all be at risk of creditors if you find yourself in debt.
Asset protection in Florida allows you to structure the assets to make it near impossible for creditors to collect on them.
Asset protection can be deployed at any stage of debt and it’s never too late to use.
Young couples sadly often find themselves in debt as they struggle with paying off student loans, mortgages, and ever-rising living costs.
Proactive asset protection can help you relax knowing those treasured assets can’t be taken away so easily.
Not All Assets Are Worth Money
Estate planning for young families often doesn’t seem important because they think they don’t own enough assets. Or that those assets have no value.
But personal property can be about more than just monetary value. If you haven’t created a will and made plans for asset distribution, you risk leaving these sentimental assets to chance.
You Might Have More Assets Than You Think
Assets are more than just houses and cars. You might be surprised that you own other assets that need protection and planning. A 401(k), for example, is an asset.
By speaking to an experienced Florida estate planning lawyer, you can identify your assets and take the necessary steps to protect your future and your loved ones.
Contact a Florida Probate Attorney
If you’re a parent or couple considering estate planning for young families in Florida, then we welcome you to contact us today.
Our Florida estate planning attorneys regularly help people just like you and can review your circumstances before providing expert advice and handling of estate planning matters – from wills and trusts to asset protection and LLC formation.
Battaglia, Ross, Dicus & McQuaid, P.A. is a U.S. News and World Reports Tier 1 law firm in Florida, specializing in Estate Planning & Probate since 1958. With award-winning experienced attorneys, they can help you get started with estate planning or amend existing documents.
Schedule a free consultation today to get started or to get any questions answered.