It is important that your estate plan address
issues regarding the upbringing of your
children. If your children are young, you
may create a plan that will allow your
surviving spouse to devote more attention
to your children, without the burden of work
obligations. You may also want to provide
for special resources for your spouse, if you believe he or she lacks the experience or ability to handle financial and legal matters.
You may want to also keep in mind the unlikely but possible scenario in which both you and your spouse perish at the same time or within a short period of time.. As a contingency, you should have a list of persons willing like to manage your assets and you should nominate a guardian to raise your children. The person in charge of the finances need not be the same person as the guardian. Often, clients purposely designate different persons to maintain a system of checks and balances.
You should consider carefully your choice of guardian, ensuring that he or she shares the values you want your children to have and is of appropriate age. If you fail to plan, the decision as to who will manage your finances and raise your children will be left to a court of law.
You should consider whether you would like your children to receive your assets directly or to have the assets placed in trust and distributed subject to conditions such as age, need and even incentives based on behavior and education. Most of our clients tell us that they do not wish their children to receive substantial assets before the children are mature enough to handle funds in a prudent manner.