If you are a parent, then you should strongly consider having a revocable living trust drafted, in additional to other essential estate planning documents. In the past, I have written about the benefits of having a trust, with the largest benefit being to avoid probate court, due to the time and cost involved. However, on a more personal level for parents, a trust is even more important to ensure your children are properly cared for if you are no longer here. Here are some examples of questions that are typically explored at a first estate planning meeting:

  • Who would you want to raise your children?
  • Who would you want to manage your assets for your children’s benefit?
  • Would you want your children to inherit all assets at age 18?
  • Would you want to encourage college and postgraduate education for your children?

For people with adult children, there are still other important considerations that should be explored. For instance, would you want to set age limitations for full inheritance? Is there a need to protect assets through a discretionary trust or special needs trust? What happens to your child’s inheritance if your child predeceases you?
Having a properly drafted trust allows you to make these critical parenting choices.
The pandemic has made many of us contemplate our own mortality seriously for the first time. Although estate planning is not always enjoyable to contemplate, having peace of mind for your childrens continued success is definitely worth the effort in my experience in working with parents.