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Four Overlooked Estate Planning Issues Involving Children

During these difficult times, it is understandable to create a financial care plan for your children in case of unexpected death or incapacitation. You may also be confronting the question of who will care for your children if you become unable to do so.

Now is the time to create a secure estate plan that fully addresses your intentions on various issues regarding your children, including guardianship. Consider the following helpful tips for successful estate planning.

Give Great Thought When Choosing a Guardian

 It can be incredibly difficult to decide who should be named as a guardian for your children. Understandably, no one will ever be able to fill the void that the death or incapacity of a parent would leave behind.

The person you appoint as guardian should be financially secure. The appointed guardian should also share your perspective on parenting. To avoid future complications, the ideal guardian should not have major health issues. Many parents also find that geography plays an important role when naming a guardian. When possible, appointing a guardian who lives nearby can alleviate added stress about relocating the children or the guardian.

Consider Naming Alternatives

As you consider the possibility that you may become unable to care for your children, you also have to consider that your first choice for a conservator or guardian may become unavailable, as well.

If you know more than one individual who would function well as a guardian, you should make sure to name this person as an alternate. Some parents even go so far as to consider specific circumstances would make them want to avoid appointing the first individual to act as a guardian.

Decide How Much of Your Estate Plan to Disclose

Many parents decide to pass on their assets to their children. Parents, however, are under no obligation to tell their children anything about their estate plan.

If you find yourself uncomfortable discussing details about your assets with your children, realize that losing a parent without knowing such details can leave your children in a difficult position. Often times, it is a better idea to inform your children of your estate planning goals in advance so they are better equipped to manage their assets.

Do Not Forget Adopted Children and Stepchildren

 In the eyes of the law, the adoption process makes a child the equivalent of a person’s biological child. If you die without the proper estate plan, adopted children will have equal footing as other family members to inherit your assets.

On the other hand, stepchildren have no right to a stepparent’s assets. You may, however, decide to pass on assets to your stepchild. When it comes to estate planning, you should make sure that your wishes about adopted and stepchildren are clearly defined.

Contact an Ohio Estate Planning Lawyer

If you are interested in creating an estate plan that achieves your goals, you should not hesitate to speak with a knowledgeable attorney. Contact Dworken & Bernstein today to schedule a free case evaluation.

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