What estate planning steps should parents take?

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What Estate Planning Steps Should Parents Take

No matter your child’s age, you want to provide for them and ensure that they have the support they need to flourish. One important step that you can take is creating an estate plan. this can be especially important if your child is under 18 and will need additional support if you pass away unexpectedly. What should you consider when creating your plan for the future?

Naming a guardian for your child can provide both of you with peace of mind.

Who do you trust to care for your child and guide them through life’s challenges if you were to pass away? While you may immediately know the answer to that question, your choice of who should raise your child may not be the same as the person that the court would choose. Naming a guardian in your will ensures that someone you and your child trust will provide for your child, providing your child with stability in a difficult time.

Consider all your estate planning options.

While a will can outline your wishes for your possessions and establish a guardian for your child, it might not achieve your estate planning goals on its own. A child cannot inherit directly, so leaving them your possessions in a will means that someone else must manage those possessions until they turn 18. At their eighteenth birthday, they will inherit everything.

A trust allows you to have greater control over this process. You can select the person who will manage those assets and outline at what age your child can access their inheritance. You can also earmark certain funds for your child’s education.

Through careful planning, you can support your child even if future challenges mean that you cannot be there as they grow.


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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