Most of us don’t like to think about planning for our own demise. When I speak to my clients about estate planning, I like to look at it from a different perspective. Instead of looking at planning for your death, perhaps it is better to look at estate planning in terms of planning for your children’s future. 

Advertisement

Because let’s face it, we are all going to die. And when we do go, it’s really not about us anymore, is it? If you have children, especially minor children, shouldn’t the focus be on making sure they are going to be okay financially and have a bright future ahead, even after we are gone? Shouldn’t we make this a priority now since we don’t know precisely when we will take our last breath?

It really doesn’t take a huge effort or a large fortune to secure loose ends for our kids. Setting up a will with guardianship provisions goes a long way to ensuring the future custody of your children, so that it is not left up to the courts to decide, should you perish leaving minors.

Advertisement

Believe me, I know it’s not easy trying to decide who would be the best “back-up parent” for your children. But I bet you can think of family or friends you absolutely wouldn’t want in that position. 

Unfortunately, in some cases that’s precisely what happens when there is no will with guardianship provisions. The person you would least want involved becomes a major player in your child’s life. I’ve seen this happen on more than one occasion in my experience of over twenty years as an estate planner. Don’t make the mistake of taking decisions like establishing a guardianship lightly.

Advertisement

It might make sense to even go a step further by setting up a living trust with ongoing money management provisions for your young or “financially immature” children. Establishing a fund for the education, welfare and ongoing support of your children as minors and even into adulthood just makes logical and practical sense. Why would you ever want the custody or financial support of your children left up to chance?


Even if your kids are grown and financially independent, it just makes sense to have some kind of plan in place. Especially if your desire is to gift most, if not all of your estate to them at your death. Even if your desire is to leave the estate to charity rather than grown children, you’ve still got to get your estate plan done. 

If for no other reason, do it so your family is not left to clean up a messy, lengthy and costly estate administration. This could be your best Christmas gift yet for your family!

Advertisement

Cynthia Brown Esq. has been a longtime resident of Folsom and an attorney serving the Sacramento, Placer and El Dorado Counties. Cinder Law is a current contracted advertiser of Folsom Times. She can be reached for information or an appointment by calling  (916) 235-8689 or by email at: cynthia@cinderlaw.com or visiting her website at www.cinderlaw.com. See the Cinder Law advertisement above for a limited time offer for savings on a Living Trust package as well.

Cynthia Brown
Author: Cynthia Brown

Advertisement