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I Have Young Children – How Does that Affect My New York Estate Plan?

children estate plan new york

It should go without saying that having young children can complicate your life in many interesting ways, especially when it concerns your estate plan. As a young parent, you do not require anything too complex, but you want to continue serving your children’s best interests, even if you should become incapacitated or, perish the thought, pass away. For more information on how having young children should affect your estate plan in New York, please continue reading, then contact an experienced Rockland County will attorney. If you have young children in New York, some things you should do when creating an estate plan include:

Writing a will

For parents of young children, writing a will has less to do with leaving assets to specific individuals and more to do with naming guardians for their children. If both you and your children’s other parent become incapacitated in some form, then the guardian you name would take over. If you do not make your wishes abundantly clear, especially in a legally valid will, the court will have to choose someone without your guidance. More often than not, the court will choose a family member. But you may have your reasons for preventing certain family members from raising your children.

Also, writing a will will ensure that your spouse – or another specific beneficiary – will inherit your property, instead of passing directly to your children. Presumably, your spouse will use the assets to care for your children.

Buying life insurance

While more of a financial planning task than a legal one, you should address this matter if you want your children to receive the proper care. In the event you or the other parent died unexpectedly, a life insurance policy would give the survivor quick access to money with which to support the family.

Writing durable powers of attorney and a living will

For health care and financial matters, every adult should have the following:

  • A living will: Also known as an advance directive, a living will sets out your wishes for end-of-life care, in detailed or general terms.
  • A durable power of attorney for health care: This document gives a trusted person the authority to carry out the wishes in your advance directive and to make other medical decisions if you can’t.
  • A durable power of attorney for finances: This document gives someone authority over your assets.

These documents will make things much easier for your family if an accident or sudden illness strikes.

Designating beneficiaries for retirement accounts

Lastly, you should name beneficiaries for your retirement accounts – i.e. any IRAs or 401(k) accounts – by filling out the beneficiary form provided by your employer or the account custodian. You can just fill out and submit a new form if you want to change it later.

Speak with a skilled Rockland County wills, trusts and estates attorney if you have any further questions.

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If you require an experienced team of attorneys, contact The Lauterbach Law Firm today to schedule a consultation.

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