You remember Cousin Itt – the extremely hairy, short cousin who visited now and then with Gomez and Morticia in the beloved Addams Family television show? Here’s something perfectly dreadful to consider.
If you are married with young children, and both you and your spouse pass away and you don’t have a will, the state will distribute your assets and decide who will be your children’s guardian.
You may not have a Cousin Itt – but you may have a cousin Vinny or another less than an ideal person in your family who may well raise your kids while handling your finances. If that doesn’t bother you, then you don’t need a will, but if it does, and we guess it does, then you need a will.
Talk to the person(s) you are considering to raise your children. Find out about their values, goals, parenting style, and patience level.
Estate planning doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated, and it’s not just for millionaires and movie stars. We created the Get it Right from the Start program because we understand the importance of planning for families with young children.
A will must name an executor/executrix to execute your wishes, distribute assets and if you have minor children, name a guardian for them.
A Durable Power of Attorney lets you appoint an individual to act on your behalf legally and financially if you are incapacitated.
Health Care Proxy lets you select someone to make medical decisions for you if you cannot make them. You need to have a discussion with the person you ask to be your proxy about how you feel about death, dying, and life support. Make sure they understand this is about you and your wishes—not about what they think are right.
Call us – we can help create a sound estate planning strategy that will keep Cousins Vinny and Itt out of the plans.