I’m too young to need a will!
“I’m too young to need a will” is one of the top estate planning myths. If you have minor children under the age of 18, you have legal responsibilities. You may have a job, mortgage, car loan and perhaps student loans. You may have life insurance at work, a bank account and retirement accounts. And if you have a minor child, your children will require money for their education, housing and care. If you become incapacitated or die at a young age, you need to designate who will care for your minor children, and how your assets will be distributed.
Parents of minor children under the age of 18 have special estate planning needs to protect their children if something should happen while their children are young.
1. Create A Will
64% of Americans don’t have a will. If you die without a will, it will take months for your estate to go through probate and for Illinois intestacy laws to determine who is entitled to your assets. Creating or updating your will is the best way to protect your minor children, ensure that your wishes are known and followed and to make sure your family doesn’t have additional financial burdens if the unexpected happens.
2. Update Your Beneficiaries
If you have a job with insurance benefits, life insurance, investments, retirement savings or other financial accounts that have a beneficiary, you need to review and update your beneficiaries to protect your minor children. Information on your beneficiary designation form will override your will.
3. Designate A Guardian
If you become incapacitated or ill and cannot care for your minor children, who will take care of your children? If you do not designate a guardian, the courts will determine who can make the legal and physical custody and decision-making decisions about your children. You can designate a guardian for your minor children after your death in a will, but if you become temporarily ill, your will does not go into effect. An Illinois Short Term Guardianship can protect your family if you are temporarily unable to care for your child.
To protect your minor children if something unexpectedly happens to you, it’s important that you create legal documents to explain your wishes and provide for your family. When there is a major change in your life such as the birth of a child, contact the Estate and Probate Legal Group in Lombard at 630-864-5835 as soon as possible to update your estate plan.
The Estate and Probate Legal Group Serves Cook, Dupage, Kane, Lake, and Will counties in Illinois.