Justin Raber Attorney at Law

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Young parents should consider estate planning early

Many West Virginia residents may seriously begin thinking about their retirement years when their children are older. As children move away from home and begin life of their own, parents often believe that it is time to begin estate planning. However, experts recommend that estate planning begins when children are very young.

Common thinking is that an estate plan is only necessary when someone has a lot of money. While asset management and distribution is important to consider, the most critical thing for parents to address is their children. Even if they do not have a lot of assets, parents should always consider the issue of guardianship for their children in the event of their death. How a person's children will be cared for should be of primary concern. Careful consideration should be given before selecting a potential guardian since everyone, no matter how wonderful a person, is not suited to parenting.

Once guardianship is settled, parents then should determine how assets in an estate will be managed for their children. The guardian selected by the parents to raise the children will be the best choice to nurture them. However, they may not be the most savvy where money is concerned. If the guardian chosen for the children does not possess strong financial skills, it would be wise to select someone else to handle the money in an estate.

Selecting the appropriate people for these roles is foremost in the process. Then, a person can work out all the other details, such as determining the timing of when the children will receive the assets. Another consideration would be to decide how the money in an estate can be spent. Experts recommend that grandparents bring up the topic with their children since it may not be something a new parent initially considers.

Estate planning should be included in the retirement plans for most West Virginia residents, whether or not they are parents. An experienced attorney can discuss the process and help clients develop plans unique to their personal situations. A knowledgeable attorney will help ensure someone that his or her family's financial future is secure.

Source: nwitimes.com, "Estate Planning: Planning when you're a young parent", Christopher Yugo, July 23, 2017

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