No matter your age or stage in life, planning out the details of your estate and assets may be necessary. For many young families, including new parents or new homeowners, there is concern for the well-being and care of young children and the protection and distribution of your assets. What should you do to ensure your children are properly cared for if you’re unable to be there? How should you avoid confusion about where your assets go?
If you’re confused or just want to be prepared, an elder law, trust and estates attorney can help lead you in the right direction. At Fratello Law, we have clients of all ages and walks of life and focus on New York estate planning. If you want help understanding your options and planning your estate, no matter your age or amount of assets, let us share what steps you should complete to provide peace of mind that your wishes are documented and your children and assets are protected.
6 Estate Planning Tips for New Families
Planning your estate early ensures that, in any scenario, your assets are going where you want them to, whether that be a family member, in trust for the benefit of a loved one, charity, or more.
Find Someone to Manage Your Assets
Most adults have assets that need to be managed or distributed after they’ve passed away. A trust is a beneficial tool to manage assets on behalf of a young child or loved one while they are too young or unable to manage finances independently. When you create a trust, the person who manages your assets is called a “trustee.” The trustee will disperse your assets and other belongings to your beneficiaries, or provide for the care of young children until they reach an age where they can manage their affairs. The goal is to ensure that your loved ones are protected and your estate is managed and distributed in line with your wishes.
You may have several assets and asset types as a new parent. These assets may include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Individual bank accounts
- Individually owned homes
- Business Interests
- Mutual funds
- Retirement assets
If you are confused about any aspect of asset protection, we strongly recommend you speak with an estate planning attorney in your area. This is the best way to receive personalized attention and answers that meet your needs, circumstances and personal goals.
Name Guardians for Your Children
Most new parents are interested in ensuring their children are adequately cared for if they pass unexpectedly. Because of this, we highly recommend you name guardians for your children in your estate planning documents. This may be done through the creation of a trust or last will and testament. Please reach out to an estate planning attorney to understand your options to plan for your loved ones.
Get Life Insurance
Life insurance may be an important element of a comprehensive estate plan for your family, should you pass unexpectedly. The right policy can protect your spouse and children from the potentially detrimental financial loss and provide financial security to pay debts and living expenses should something happen to you.
Determine Who Will Make Decisions for You
If the unexpected occurs and you are unable to make important legal, financial and medical decisions, it is essential you decide who will “step in your shoes” to make those decisions on your behalf. Specifically, you select the person who will make choices for you if you are mentally or physically unable to make these decisions on your own.
Create a Trust
A trust may be an important aspect to your complete estate plan. There are several benefits to trust planning that may be in line with your goals, including planning for long term care, avoiding probate or planning for the management of assets for young children or loved ones with special needs. If you need assistance deciding whether trust planning is right for you, we strongly recommend speaking with an experienced trust and estate attorney.
Speak With an Estate Planning Lawyer
One of the best ways to stay prepared for an unexpected loss of life or significant life change is to ensure your estate planning documents are in order by working with an estate planning attorney. Your lawyer may be able to assist you in several ways, including helping you organize your assets, avoid legal mistakes, draft advance directives and establish a last will and testament and/or trust. A proper estate plan will provide you with the peace of mind that you have made preparations for the care and protection of your loved ones, should the unexpected occur.
Protect Your Family With Fratello Law’s Estate Planning Lawyers in New York
If you want to ensure your family’s welfare if the unexpected happens, our team at Fratello Law is here to offer some assistance. We are a small firm with a big heart, as we pride ourselves on focusing on the individual needs of each client with empathy, skill and understanding. We are parents, caregivers and understand the weight of proper planning for young families. Our team is dedicated to supporting clients through each step of the estate planning process.
To discuss the details of your case, clear any concerns, get more information, and take advantage of our no-cost initial consultation, please feel free to contact us. If you’re in Suffolk County, please call us at (631) 406-5580. To reach our team in Nassau County, please call (516) 321-4010. Additionally, anyone can fill out our contact form. We look forward to welcoming you to our client family.