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Factoring young children into an estate plan

No two Tennessee families are alike. As such, no two estate plans will share the same set of needs and goals. For families with young children, providing for the best interests of those children should take center stage during the estate planning process.

When creating an estate plan involving young children, one of the first steps is to determine who will serve as guardian if that need should arise. This is an important decision, as the designated guardian would essentially act as a stand-in parent if he or she were called upon to fill that role. It is equally important to discuss the matter with each candidate to ensure that the individual designated as guardian is able and willing to assume those duties if the need should come about.

It is also important to determine which party will have the authority to handle the finances related to caring for the children. In some cases, this responsibility is also handed to the designated guardian. However, there are cases in which the individual chosen to act as guardian is not the best choice to handle the financial side of things. In such a case, it is important to choose a financial representative who can work with the guardian to make sure that each child's needs are adequately met.

Estate planning is never a process that is highly anticipated, but it is one that is necessary. For Tennessee families with young children, it is important to take the time to outline what would happen in the event of the loss of both parents. Doing so can make things far less difficult for loved ones in the event of an unexpected shift in the structure of the family.

Source:, "Get Your Estate Plan in Gear", Christine Benz, Sept. 23, 2016

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