Last year, I wrote about my experience creating an estate plan for my family, and it prompted a lot of people to ask me why I felt I even needed an estate plan in the first place.
Why go through the trouble? Why go through the expense? You’re so young, why do you need an estate plan?
The answer is, a lot of reasons.
The hard truth is that my father died of cancer when I was 3, so I entered parenthood feeling fully aware that life doesn’t always go the way you expect it to, and like it or not, you have to plan for all possible scenarios.
It’s a strange feeling, so carefully crafting a plan that you hope never to use. It can be a really hard thing to think about, because of course, we all hope it just won’t ever come into play.
As difficult as it is to imagine what my kids’ lives would be like without me, it felt supremely important to leave them in the best possible position, if that ever became a reality.
Our estate plan has two primary functions; it names who will care for our children in our absence, and it provides a means for them to access our financial resources as efficiently and responsibly as possible.
Creating an estate plan provided us with peace of mind.
Knowing that we have a plan in place to help our loved ones navigate a very difficult situation honestly helps me sleep at night. Knowing who our kids will be cared for in our absence eased a lot of parental worry. Knowing that our family won’t be scrambling to figure out who will take the kids, brings a sort of comfort that is hard to put into words.
We also wanted to ensure that our financial resources would be available to our kids as immediately as possible, to avoid any additional stress and strain on both our kids and the loved ones caring for them in our absence. We’re already asking our loved ones to care for our children, the least we could do is minimize the financial burden that comes along with it.
We also wanted to set up parameters for what the money can be used for and when, to ensure our teenage children don’t spend our life’s savings on bubblegum after we’re gone.
After speaking with David and the members of the team at The Parents Estate Planning Law Firm, we also came to realize how important it was to us to have a short term plan in place – thinking about who could be available quickly, if our permanent named caregivers were not immediately available. This was something that really wasn’t on our radar, but we’re so glad it was covered in our plan.
We knew from the beginning of parenthood that we wanted to set up an estate plan for our kids. What we didn’t know, until we enlisted The Parents Estate Planning Law Firm to help, is how valuable it is to work with someone who understands not only the legal intricacies, but the perspective of a parent too.