There are a number of ways that Minnesota parents can use estate planning documents to make sure their children are cared for in the future. In fact, estate planning is perhaps most critical for people who are also parents. By creating key documents like wills, trusts and powers of attorney, people can direct how their assets will be distributed, especially in the interests of caring for their children. Trusts in particular can help people pass on wealth to minor children and continue to exercise some level of control over how the funds are used.
By creating an estate plan, parents can provide their beneficiaries with clear financial advantages, like a reduction in estate taxes or the elimination of fees and delays in probate. In addition, parents themselves can enjoy greater peace of mind with the knowledge that their children will be provided for. However, there are also issues that may not be addressed in standard estate planning documents that parents may wish to pay special attention to. In general, parents will name the individuals who they wish to assume guardianship of their children in a will. However, transferring guardianship is a long-term process that must be confirmed in court.
When parents of young children die suddenly and unexpectedly, people on the scene may not know what needs to be done. The children may be temporarily held by the state until the guardianship process is completed. However, by creating a specialized document that includes contact information and short-term guardianship advice, parents can help to minimize trauma for their children.
An estate planning attorney can provide advice to parents and others looking to plan for the future. A lawyer can work with people to create a comprehensive estate plan that addresses future health care needs and decisions and provides for the children's future.