Wills And Trusts: How To Look Out For Your Kids' Long-Term Interests

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If your kids are still running around the house in diapers, it's the perfect time to start thinking about what may happen in the future. If something were to happen to you, would all of your financial affairs be settled according to your preferences? It's hard to say if you don't have a will or a trust set up, as the courts may have the final say. To make sure everything goes the way you want it to, you should consider preparing legal documents to specify your wishes.

Write a Will

A will specifies what will happen to all of your assets in the case of your passing. You can state who you'd like to inherit the money in your bank account, the property that you own, special mementos, and anything else of value to you. Without a will, all of those belongings may be turned over to the jurisdiction of a judge, who in turn will decide how best to divide your assets. While this often results in a favorable outcome for your dependents, it does adds a layer of complication to the process.

If you want a way to be able to keep paying for school or living expenses for your kids, writing a will can expedite the process. You can also name which trusted person you'd like to become your kids' legal guardian, which is a significant decision if your kids are young. If you heavily favor one sibling or family friend over another, this is an important component of the will.

Consider Establishing a Trust

If you have even a modest amount of financial holdings, you can think about setting up a trust. You have to actually transfer funds into that trust, which is one way that differentiates it from a will. Another important difference is that you can easily set your own conditions.

If you'd like for a certain amount of money to go to college education, you can certainly say so. If you want your kids to have unlimited access to their funds only after they turn 18, 21, or 25,  you have the opportunity to outline your stipulations when you're setting everything up. If you're worried about that amount of access for a young adult, then you can specify that you prefer monthly pay-outs versus a lump sum.

You might wonder what would happen to your holdings if you pass without a will or a trust. The outcome will vary depending on your state laws and the decisions of probate court, and that uncertainty can be the reason that leads you to make an appointment with an estate lawyer. An attorney would be a reliable resource to seek out if you want to continue to provide for your kids even after you've passed. Taking that step can give you the peace of mind of knowing that they'll be fine in the long-run. Contact a lawyer like one from Valentine & Valentine PC for more information.

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17 May 2016

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