While no adult is ever too young to draft a last will and testament, many people decide to do so when they have minor children they want to protect. There are different issues to consider when you are writing your will with your minor children in mind, and the following are only some examples of such considerations.
Naming a Guardian
As part of your will, you can name the individual you would like to have legal guardianship over your child after your death. If your child’s other biological or adoptive parent is still alive, he or she will likely take over full custody of the child automatically, no matter what your will says. However, if something should happen to both parents or if the surviving parent is unfit, having a responsible and trusted guardian to look after your child is critical.
If you are not in a relationship with your child’s parent, you likely want to devise part or all of your estate to your child. However, as a minor, the child will not have the right to control any assets or property until he or she is 18. If you do not want your estate falling into the hands of the other parent, you may want to name a guardian of the estate for your child who will manage the estate until your child is no longer a minor.
Is a Will Sufficient?
With only a will, your child will receive their entire inheritance at age 18. Eighteen-year-olds are often not the most responsible, and if you leave a particularly large estate, a will may not be enough to protect the interests of your child and ensure he or she doesn’t waste the inheritance. In such cases, you may want to discuss setting up a trust for this – and many other – reasons.
A St. Louis and St. Charles Estate Planning Attorney Can Help You
At the Law Office of Kenneth P. Carp, we can advise you of any and all considerations that may relate to estate planning in your personal circumstances. If you would like to discuss more options for trusts and wills in the St. Louis area, contact a trust and wills attorney by calling 636-947-3600 today.