3 Child-Related Details To Cover When You’re Estate Planning

Estate planning is about more than deciding what you want to be done with your money in the event of your passing. If you have young children, you'll also need to think about them. Of course, it's difficult to think about you not being there to care for your children, but the reality is that unexpected events can occur — and the last thing that you want is for you and your spouse to pass away suddenly and not have a plan for how your children should be looked after. Talk to an attorney who specializes in estate planning to draft up some documentation that covers the following child-related details.

1. Guardianship Of The Children

You'll need to make the critical decision about who will receive guardianship of your children in the event that you and your spouse die. This isn't a decision to take lightly, especially if your children are very young and would be with their new guardians for a period of several years. There are lots of options to consider, but having the kids go with a family member is a logical decision. It's also important to talk to the family members you're considering to ensure that they'd be okay with taking on this responsibility.

2. Money For Your Children's Care

Although you may have some specific requirements about what is done with your money after you pass, you'll likely want to leave a lot of it to whoever will be assuming guardianship of your children — with instructions that the money is to be used for their care. This isn't a financial gift that you're giving this person, so you need to be clear in that regard. You'd like the money to help your children just as it would if you were still living, by being put toward clothing, food, and other essentials.

3. Money Held In A Trust

You might also wish to specify that a certain amount of money that you're leaving behind should be held in trust until your children reach the age of 18. You can't assume that the new guardians of your children will be leaving money to them in the future, so reserving some money now — and ideally in an account that will allow the amount to grow — will give your children a nice gift when they're old enough to make a responsible decision about how to use it. Talk to your attorney about the other requests that you have concerning your children in the event of your death.

For more information, contact a law office like Christena Silvey Coleman CSC Law, LLC.