If you’re planning on expanding your family, you may be thinking about baby names, car seats and what color to paint the nursery. One of the first things you’ll want to consider when planning for the child, however, is your estate and emergency planning.
Unfortunately, many young families in Pennsylvania assume they have many years to create an estate plan. Young couples may also assume they don’t have a great deal of property to distribute, and so they don’t need a will or other estate planning measures in place. This can be a dangerous assumption. If anything happens to you and your spouse, you may be leaving your minor children vulnerable.
Estate Planning for Families in Pennsylvania
In Pennsylvania, if parents are killed and leave behind minor children, courts will appoint a guardian. Unfortunately, without an estate plan, you have no say in who the custodian or guardian of your children will be. The courts work in the best interest of the children, but they often will only meet with potential guardians for a brief period of time before making a final decision.
Without speaking to an attorney and developing an estate plan in Pennsylvania, the guardian appointed for your children may not be the ideal person or the person you may have chosen. If you want to have control over who will take care of your children in the event of your passing, it’s important to consult with a planning for children attorney in Berks County, PA or your community.
An attorney will examine your child’s needs and the people you know, and they will discuss with you who might be the best guardian for your children. In addition, an attorney can help you determine what assets you do have to distribute to your children in the event anything happens.
Distributing Assets to Children
Even if you assume you don’t have much to leave behind or if you’re just building up your estate, having a will and a trust can be important. You may have more assets than you realize. Your insurance policies at work, for example, may leave behind money for your children, and even if you are still paying off your home, there may be equity in your property for your children.
Minor children will generally inherit property through a guardian or through a trust. Determining now how property will be divided ensures your children have access to the assets which may be rightfully theirs. Without a trust and without a will, the state will determine how to distribute your assets and property. Planning now ensures you can take steps to protect your children from excessive taxation on your estate as well as other issues.
Talk to an Estate Planning for Children Attorney in Reading, PA
Deciding to have children will be one of the most important decisions you make, and you want to ensure you do everything to protect your new family. Estate planning is an important part of the process, defending you and your family in the event something goes wrong.
If you’d like to shield your children and your household, contact a planning for children attorney in Reading, PA today. You can arrange a personalized consultation by contacting Miller Law Group. Through our offices in Reading, we also serve Berks County and Reading region, as well as surrounding Pennsylvania areas.
Our attorneys have already helped thousands of Pennsylvania area families with estate planning and other legal needs. We have handled estate planning for non-traditional and traditional households and even estate planning for businesses. Whether you’re just starting out or already have substantial assets, our attorneys can help you develop a plan to give you peace of mind.