Having kids is complicated, expensive, frustrating and fulfilling. No parent would trade a single second with their children. But, the other side of that joy is responsibility: The responsibility to make sure your children are safe, even after you are gone.
Therefore, the moment you have a child, an estate plan becomes an urgent concern.
Why is it so urgent?
To put it simply, you never know when your time is up, and you could pass at any time. You could be in an accident, become medically incapacitated, etc.
You need to make sure that, should something happen to you, both your spouse and your kids are protected. You do not want to leave your family with uncertainty at the same time they are dealing with your loss.
Adult and minor children
A lot of how you plan your estate transfer depends on whether your children are adults or minors. It also depends on whether your children have special needs that require a lifetime of assistance. Each will have special considerations under Georgia law.
A concern for minor and adult children is their financial well-being. If one or both parents pass, then the family finances will be severely impacted.
This is why you need life insurance. For minor children, life insurance replaces one or both parent’s incomes to help get your children into adulthood well.
For adult children, it could supplement educational expenses, or just help them financially thrive.
And, do not forget about long-term care insurance either. Your estate could be drained by the costs of long-term care, but long-term care insurance can ensure that your legacy plans are not ruined by bad health.
For minor children, you will focus on education funding and ensuring they have care.
If you are married, care will focus on the surviving spouse, and your estate plan should reflect this.
However, it should also include guardianship designations, in case both parents pass. If you spend all day together, if a tragedy befalls one, it will befall both. Be sure to speak with your potential guardians and select back-ups in case they change their mind or something else stops them from taking over as a guardian.
Educational planning is usually done through a 529 plan, Uniform Gifts to Minors Act or Uniform Transfers to Minors Act account. These accounts allow for strategic educational funding, while saving on taxes.
There are other creative options, depending on your educational goals for your children. Of course, these are only a few concerns that a Georgia estate planning attorney can help you address.