Washington, DC parents who have young children usually spend a great deal of time worrying about their safety. Numerous dangers lurk even in the child's home when they are young and exploring their world. However, it is the danger of losing their parents that is the most unpredictable. Estate planning may not be able to prevent the untimely demise of a child's parents, but it can provide a plan for who will care for him or her in the event such a tragedy occurs.
Without a will, surviving family members could end up spending valuable time and resources in court battling over who will become the child's legal guardian. In addition, there is no guarantee that the court will choose the same person the parents would have chosen. With a will, the parents retain control over who that person or persons will be.
Parents can also establish a trust with the child named as the beneficiary. The trustee does not have to be the same person as the guardian named in the will, but it can be. The assets in the trust can be used for the benefit of the child as he or she grows. The trust can specify how any remaining assets will be distributed to the child after the age of majority.
Most Washington, DC parents do what they have to in order to provide for their children. However, many do not consider estate planning to be part of their efforts. Parents will most likely make many mistakes as they raise their children, but most of them can be corrected -- except for failing to provide for their children in case of death.
Source: CBS Boston, "Where There's A Will There's A Way!", Dee Lee, Aug. 27, 2015