A Parent's Gift of Love - Create an Estate Plan

03/04/2011

I recently heard a story about how far a parent will go to protect his or her children.  A mother was  diagnosed with cancer. While getting ready to start treatment, she found out her young child had a brain tumor. The mother decided to delay her treatment so she could be there for her child, even though the delay in her treatment could prove fatal.  Such an unselfish act by a parent who probably didn't even think twice about it.

We all provide and make sacrifices for our kids.  That's what being a good parent is all about.  However, despite our willingness to put our kids needs first, when it comes to estate planning, we tend to delay.   We delay for all sorts of reasons.  Young parents often think that estate planning is something only old, rich people do. Or they assume that surviving family members will step in to take care of everything if the need arises.

The truth is that all parents of young children, regardless of their net worth, need comprehensive estate planning. Why? Because if you don’t have an estate plan, you forfeit the opportunity to make many important decisions that you are in the best position to make. These include:

  • Choosing a guardian for your minor children;
  • Choosing a person to manage the assets you leave for your children;
  • Determining how and when your children will receive the assets you leave them;
  • Protecting assets from creditors of your children;
  • Passing down intangible treasures such as traditions and life lessons. 

No one knows and loves your children like you do. Estate planning puts you in control of making the decisions that are in their best interest. Isn't your child worth the sacrifice of time to do an estate plan if you have not already done so?