Protect Your Children's Inheritance
Changing your will is relatively easy. You can
revoke your current will and have a new one prepared, or you can
amend your existing will by creating a codicil. Your attorney can
advise you on which option best meets your objectives.
Here are five estate planning updates that
affect your children that you should make immediately:
Have a guardianship plan. Name a suitable
guardian for your minor children in your will. In most cases,
your spouse, if you are married, will raise your children if
you pass away first. But, are you considering that he or she
could remarry? In the event your spouse dies while your
children are still young, do you want his or her new partner to
raise your children? If there is someone better qualified to do
so, make your desires known now.
Protect what belongs to your children. Make
sure your assets and property pass to your children. Spell out
in your will the specifics of distributing assets so your
children, rather than a former or second spouse, receive what
was earmarked for them. Remember, assets aren't only items with
financial value. Sentimental items like heirlooms and family
photos can be noted in an updated will to pass to your children
Safeguard minor children. If you have minor
children, you may wish to place assets you want them to inherit
in a trust until they are old enough. This prevents court
battles if a judge has to name someone as their conservator.
Name a new executor. If your children are of
the age of legal majority, you can appoint them as executors,
or you can choose a trusted friend or member of your family.
Update beneficiary designations. Life
insurance, annuities, retirement benefits and IRAs are usually
payable to a named beneficiary and do not pass under your will.
Check these documents to see whether you need to complete new
beneficiary designation forms, adding your adult children's
names or a trust for minor children, to make certain assets are
left to your intended heirs.
Remember: Life changes. Once you take these
steps, make sure to update your documents as your circumstances
change. If we can be of help in your planning process, please
contact Jeff W. Anderson, J.D. at 423-439-5352 or
Don't Forget East Tennessee State
University Foundation When Updating Your Will
If you have made gifts of specific assets or
amounts to us in your will and your needs or intentions have
changed, remember to update these wishes as well.
FACT: Updating your will and other estate
planning documents is vital in protecting your children and other
Copyright © The Stelter Company, All
The information in this Web site is not
intended as legal advice. For legal advice, please consult an
attorney. Figures cited in examples are for hypothetical purposes
only and are subject to change. References to estate and income
tax include federal taxes only. Individual state taxes and/or
state law may impact your results.