How to handle your estate when you have minor children

Many young families put off estate planning. If asked, they may say they are too young, healthy, or cannot afford it. Some have trouble even thinking about what could happen if they were to pass away while their minor children and spouse are depending on them. But even a healthy, young adult can be taken suddenly by an accident or illness, and those with young families need estate planning precisely because others are depending on them.

One of the most common questions that came up is: Who should I choose as Guardian of my children? Your first instinct would be to look at family and close friends, but sometimes that does not yield many promising prospects. The choice may not be easy, but it is imperative that you make it now before it is too late. If you do not name a guardian in a valid will, you will have no say in who the judge appoints to take care of and raise your children.

Having a will prepared when you have minor children is crucial because when parents do not leave a will regarding the care of their minor children, the court will decide on a guardian based on the best interests of the child. The “best interests” criteria are similar to what a court might use when selecting a custodial parent in a custody fight. Ideally, judges want to move a child into the care of a guardian the child knows very well. This minimizes the disruption in his or her life at a traumatic time. Family members are usually preferred, and they have the right to petition the court for the appointment.

Protect your minor children by having a properly drafted last will and testament. Estate planning will require you to think about family relationships, and some decisions may be difficult. But an experienced estate planning attorney will be able to help you through the process, provide valuable guidance, and make sure your plan will do what you want when it is needed. If you have minor children and do not know where to begin, Attorney Darcel Lobo would be happy to assist. Contact our office today at (206) 408-8158 for a consultation to ensure that you have a proper estate plan in place.

Contact us:

19803 1st Avenue S.
Suite 200
Normandy Park, WA 98148

T (206) 408-8158
F (206) 374-2810

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