If you are a soon-to-be parent or have young children, an Illinois estate plan can ensure they receive the love and care they need if you die unexpectedly before they become adults. Even if you don’t have a significant amount in assets, the steps you take can prioritize their well-being.
According to Forbes, naming a guardian is one of the most crucial steps you can take as a parent. If you cannot speak for yourself or pass on without appointing someone to raise your children, the courts decide for you.
Appoint a guardian for long-term care
Choose a guardian who will care for and love them. Even if you have discussed this with family members or friends, you must have the decision in a legally binding written document. Without this information, every family member has an equal right of guardianship. While it’s likely that no one is perfect by your standards, naming someone of your choosing is better than letting the court appoint a guardian.
Set up a trust for assets
If you die before your children turn 18, they cannot take control of your assets. You can set up a trust and specify a person who can manage your estate, how to use your money and property for your children’s benefit and when they should receive their inheritance. You can set conditions for receiving a direct transfer, such as using the money for college or reaching age 21.
A will, trust and powers of attorney can create an estate plan that conveys your wishes if you become incapacitated or die suddenly. They can also minimize the cost of probate so that your children receive more of your assets.