Parents sitting with children and estate planning attorney

Estate Planning for Parents with Minor Children

For many parents, starting a family is anxiety-producing as well as joyful since having children makes them aware of the weight of parental responsibility. They may wonder how their family would manage if they were suddenly injured, became ill, or passed away. That’s when having an experienced, dependable estate planning attorney becomes invaluable. 

At Surprenant & Beneski, we provide parents of young children with effective, personalized estate planning services designed to protect their young families from unexpected challenges. We are ready to help you prepare for the future you’re planning or the one you hope never happens. While it is distressing to think of a catastrophe, it is far worse to imagine one without guardrails in place.

We Focus on Your Unique Situation

To develop the estate plan that will work best for you, we will ask you specific questions to help us understand your particular needs. Various factors (age, health, finances) will affect our approach and help us determine which estate planning tools will be most useful and cost-effective in your particular case. We will need to know:

  1. The ages of everyone in your family
  2. Any health issues affecting parents or children
  3. The stage of your career and your perceived earning potential 
  4. The school status of your children (e.g. daycare/preschool/public school/private school)
  5. Plans for higher education for your children
  6. Your assets and liabilities
  7. Whether you and your spouse have investments or retirement savings
  8. Whether you expect to receive a sizable inheritance

Understanding these factors will give us insight into the needs and goals of your young family as we begin creating the right estate plan.  

Documents Essential for Protecting Your Minor Children

Our estate planning attorneys will assist you in preparing the following documents to protect your family in case of a crisis or tragedy:

Last Will and Testament

This document will not only designate your beneficiaries and name your executor but also appoint a guardian for your minor children if your spouse is no longer alive at the time of your death. Choosing someone who is caring, trustworthy, and hopefully, one with a warm relationship with your children, is critical. If you don’t name a guardian in your will, the state will choose one, and that person may not be someone you would have approved. 

Advanced Medical Directive/Living Will 

This document informs your family and medical professionals about the end-of-life care you wish to receive. In it, you will clarify what life-preserving measures you want to be taken or withheld (e.g. intubation, feeding tube, pain management).

Durable Power of Attorney

Having this document in place will give the individual you have chosen the ability to manage your legal and financial affairs (e.g. write checks, access bank funds, pay taxes) if you become temporarily or permanently incapacitated.  

Trusts to Protect Your Assets and Provide for Your Minor Children 

Skilled estate planning attorneys can also create well-crafted trusts to protect the funds that your children will inherit from excessive taxation, creditors, bankruptcy, and civil lawsuits. More than that, they can tailor a trust for specific circumstances. 

You can, for example, have a trust that will only turn over money to your children when they reach a certain age or meet a particular goal, such as graduating college. You can also set up trust to meet a specific need, such as a spendthrift or special needs trust.

Contact Our Experienced Massachusetts Estate Planning Attorneys Today

Our detailed knowledge of essential documents and our overview of estate planning strategies will stand you in good stead. Contact us now so you can begin feeling the relief of knowing that your family will be protected even when you aren’t available to protect them.