How do parents estate plan?

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How Do Parents Estate Plan

If you are a parent, you know that you should have an estate plan. Your minor children would be helpless if you and your spouse pass, which is why estate planning becomes urgent once you see that extra line on the pregnancy test. However, many Haddonfield, New Jersey, parents struggle with what is needed.

What you need depends on them

Before beginning your estate planning journey, think about your goals. For minor children, your goals will be their education and financial support until they are an adult. For special needs children, though, education may not be the goal. Instead, you may need to plan for a lifetime of financial support.


For minor children, you will need to appoint a Haddonfield, New Jersey, guardian, should you and your spouse pass. This person or persons step into your shoes to care for your children. Of course, you can appoint a guardian to take care of them and another to take care of their finances, but, usually, a guardian is appointed to act fully in your stead. However, do not forget to name backups, just in case. This can be especially important for special needs children who need a lifetime of support.

The amount of support needed

Do your children need temporary financial support (until they become adults) or lifetime support? This can be a key consideration because life insurance alone may be enough to support your child until they become an adult. Though, it may not be enough if they need a lifetime of support. If they need a lifetime of support, you may need to get long term care insurance to ensure that your assets are not used up to support you.


In either case, a trust could be a useful instrument. For minor children, a trust can be set up that empowers an independent and financially savvy trustee to care for your child’s financial needs. Once they reach an age of maturity, designated by you, the trust can then pay out any remaining assets. Or, if your child has special needs, the trustee can care for your child’s financial needs for a lifetime.

The key is to start now

The key takeaway though is to start now. If you have not started your estate plan, as a parent, you need to start now. That does not mean you need to have it completed today, but it does mean you need to start your Haddonfield, New Jersey, estate planning journey sooner, rather than later.


Michael Ritigstein is a Founding Partner of the firm concentrating his efforts in supporting the firm's litigation, corporate and estate matters. Mr. Ritigstein graduated from the University of Delaware in 1996 and Seton Hall University School of Law in 2000. In 2007 he received a Masters of Law in Taxation with a concentration in Estate Planning, from Temple University's Beasley School of Law.

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