For couples in their 20s and 30s, estate planning is often the last thing on their mind. Even if they have children, they often assume that they won’t have to worry about putting together a will, advance directives, powers of attorney and so forth until they’re at an advanced age or fall ill. But the unfortunate truth is that tragedy can strike anyone of any age. It’s in the best interest of your spouse and children to get an estate plan in place even if you are still young.
Take care of your finances
After you draft your will, you will need to choose someone you trust to act as your executor. An executor has extensive duties, and the role can be quite stressful, so you should choose someone who you know can handle it and will do a good job.
If you and your spouse name each other as your respective executors, make sure to find someone else to act as an alternate for both of you in the case that you both pass away at the same time.
Take care of your children
As unpleasant as it is to think about, you must take steps to ensure that your children will be taken care of in the event that you and your spouse both pass away while they are still under the age of majority. A large part of this is setting up guardianship provisions as part of your estate plan.
Make sure you designate several back-up guardians in the event that your chosen guardian is unwilling or unable to take on the responsibility of caring for your children. That way it is more likely that they will have someone they know who is willing to manage their finances and meet their needs.
You can also set up certain kinds of trusts to benefit your children in the future if you are no longer around to do so. An estate planning professional can walk you through the various pros and cons of each type of trust, so that you can choose one that fits your particular situation.
It can be difficult to think about your death while you are still young. But preparing a thorough estate plan is one of the best services you can do for your young family. The peace of mind it will bring is well worth the effort.