When you’re relaxing at Surfside Beach and watching your kids play, the last thing on your mind is estate planning. You’re going to be there with them for years to come. But having a plan in place can help everyone in case the unthinkable happens.
You’re not alone if you don’t have a plan for when you pass away, as only 44% of Americans have a strategy for their estate. Wills aren’t just for those in their twilight years. Making sure your children are taken care of, setting something aside for your family and finding someone to make sure things go accordingly are all important.
Who will take care of my children?
This is perhaps the most important, and most difficult question you should consider. There are plenty of things you should consider when determining who will raise your kids if you’re gone:
- Would they raise your kids as you would?
- Are they financially able?
- Can they physically handle the task?
- If they aren’t nearby, who would relocate?
Does my family get any money from insurance?
Make sure you have a policy set up to help take care of things while you’re gone. You’ll want to make sure payouts can cover costs that could bring stress to your family. Handling immediate expenses like funeral bills can be just as important as future costs like college, and it’s up to you to plan where that money goes.
Who receives what and when?
Leaving money for your family isn’t always straightforward. While there are no inheritance or estate taxes in Texas, leaving assets behind can get confusing if there is no plan to follow. Make sure you have things like trusts and beneficiaries set up ahead of time.
Who will manage my estate?
Physical belongings like your house or monetary assets like education funds will all need management. Pick an executor that will follow through on your points, who will take care to divvy up your belongings among benefactors as you want.
Make sure you can keep taking care of your family after you’re gone, and you’re not leaving it up to the court. Having a plan in place will make the process easier to manage and ensure that your wishes for their care are followed through to the end.