nearing their final days. Not enough young parents take legal steps to protect their families in case of unexpected or early death, which are very real possibilities. As a result, many families are left in disarray when tragedy strikes.
If you are a young parent or a parent with young children, you may feel you have your whole life ahead of you; and, if you’re like most, you haven’t gotten around to thinking about estate planning or creating a last will and testament. In the event of a serious accident, illness, or other unexpected tragedy, however, estate planning can provide significant clarity when it comes to the following:
- Guardianship of your children: If you were to pass away unexpectedly, who would care for your children? While it is not uncommon for parents to form agreements with close family friends or relatives about who will assume responsibility for their children, many young families have not legally established or nominated secondary and tertiary guardians for children. This can create chaos and painful conflict among family members if parental responsibility is not explicitly transferred to a specific person or other family. Estate planning also gives you time to assess a potential guardian’s financial stability, religious and moral leanings, relationship with your children, and so on.
- Management of property, assets, and your children’s inheritance: Some parents may wish to liquidate all of their assets and put them into an account until their children reach a certain age, have their assets awarded entirely to the surviving spouse or oldest child, or make other specific allocations. If you do not leave behind a last will and testament, state laws become the default guide for property allocation. Even in cases of one surviving spouse and children, they do not always create desirable outcomes in cases where a person dies unexpectedly and leaves behind significant property and resources. However, estate planning allows you to decide exactly how your possessions will be divided in the event of your death.
- Naming a representative of your estate: Estate planning also allows you to decide exactly who will oversee any deliberation or legal proceedings related to the division of your assets. This prevents a family member from taking control of your estate after your death, which can be especially important in cases where your minor children are left behind without a legal parent.
If there is a possibility of you leaving behind minor children and an ex-spouse or a spouse who is a step-parent to your children, estate planning is particularly important. LGBTQIA couples also experience significant challenges when one spouse passes away without leaving behind instructions regarding asset division, inheritance, etc., making LGBTQIA estate planning particularly critical.
Estate Planning Lawyer in Phoenix
Regardless of how young or small your family may currently be, estate planning is always a good idea. Even if you end up living for many years, you will at least not have to worry about what will happen to your property, assets, or family in the event of an accident. Don’t leave it to state law or your surviving children or spouse to navigate the complex legal fallout of your untimely death. Get in touch with a Phoenix estate planning attorney today and take your family’s future into your own hands.
Call Taylor & Lihn, PLLC at (602) 900-9860 today or contact us to receive a complimentary consultation.