Protecting Young Families and Grandchildren
Wills and estate planning are not just for older clients. When a young family has a newborn child, it is strongly recommended they adopt a Will. The parents will be able to designate how funds are safeguarded for their children, and who will be the caregiver of their child in the event both parents have passed away or are unable to do so. (Technically, a separate Court Guardianship hearing is required, but I know of no circumstance in which a Judge did not follow the Guardianship designation set forth in a Will, so long as the named Guardian is not disqualified for some reason). Most Wills have children or other family or friends as the primary beneficiaries, and we often include the language "per stirpes" which is a Latin term which means "by the stocks or by the roots." This Will drafting language has the effect, in the event the named adult child or beneficiary under the Will passes away before the Testator (the parent making the Will), and if there are younger grandchildren who are the children of the child who has died, then those children will step into the shoes of their parent and receive the same share of the Estate that the deceased parent would have received. The Wills we prepare contain detailed Child Trust language and designate a Trustee. As part of our process in creating a "Legacy of Love," a person making a Will can have the peace of mind and comfort of knowing that children and grandchildren will receive an inheritance in the future and, in the event of a tragedy in which a middle-aged parent passes away at an early age, younger grandchildren will still receive an inheritance and the funds will be appropriately safeguarded. Finally, in many family circumstances, all children share equally as beneficiaries. However, there may be very good reasons why one child should receive more or less, or why one child should be disinherited under a Will (i.e. drug, alcohol or mental impairment, someone is not responsible with managing money, a child has borrowed funds from a parent or has receive some other inheritance, or one child has a good job and high net worth, while another child is financially struggling). Many Grandparents feel it is very important to have some amount given directly to Grandchildren so they know they are remembered in a Will. In short, there are thousands of variables and different situations that impact how the Will is drafted. If you have questions or concerns about how best to protect children and grandchildren, please give Scott a call.