Often, people who do not have substantial financial assets will assume that they do not need to have an estate plan. They may be doing fine financially, in the sense that they make plenty to live on, but they don’t have expensive assets like art collections or businesses or vacation homes. They think that estate planning is just for the very wealthy.
However, it is important for all people to have an estate plan. This is especially true for parents. Parents have additional things that they need to consider that go beyond money itself.
What will happen to your child?
The big thing to ask yourself is, “If you were to pass away unexpectedly, what would happen to your child?” Who would take care of them? Who would make sure their needs were met? Where would they live?
To answer these questions, you can use your estate plan to choose a guardian. This is ideally a person who already has a relationship with the child, potentially an extended family member, and it is someone that you have talked to in advance to make sure they want to take on this obligation. Once they do, you know that they will be there to raise your child and give them the stability and love that you want them to have.
Now, you may also set up a trust or use other devices to leave the financial assets you do have for your child in a scenario like this. But you are probably far less worried about the money, and much more worried about getting everything right so that your child can have the life you’ve always envisioned for them. An estate plan is the best way to do this, so make sure you know about all of the steps you need to take.