If you’re a young parent struggling to keep the house clean, get the kids to all their activities on time, and maybe sneak in a moment or two to take care of your own needs, you may not feel like the owner of an “estate.” Certainly not one that is large or complex enough to require planning. Perhaps when you hear the term “estate planning,” the image that comes to mind is someone like Donald Trump. A guy who needs to stop and think when asked how many houses he owns, and whose preferred method of transportation is helicopter.

Having that kind of wealth is certainly one reason that you would need to plan, but definitely not the only one. By the time they’ve reached their 30s, most adults have accumulated enough responsibilities to merit a careful review of who will handle their day-to-day duties and how their assets will be distributed if something were to happen to them. This is especially critical if you have kids under the age of 18.

Estate planning guide for parents

But what is estate planning, exactly? The answer to that question can vary quite a bit, depending on your family and financial situations. For some people, it just means buying a little life insurance, and confirming they have updated beneficiary designation forms attached to each of their financial accounts. Others need a will and power of attorney documents to confirm that their assets will be properly distributed and their kids will be cared for by the people best qualified to do it. And still others might need to use trusts to orchestrate a relatively complex transfer of significant assets.

To help people figure out what kind of planning they need to do, I offer two free resources:

  1. A guide that explains the basic components of a typical estate plan. That guide comes with a list of the 6 most common mistakes people make when choosing guardians for their children, as well as a nifty, interactive worksheet to guide you through the process of selecting the best guardians for your kids.
  2. A 2-minute quiz to help you determine how complex of a plan you might need

After you have reviewed these items and are ready to put your plan into place, give me a call. We will discuss your specific situation and confirm what type of plan will work best for you. Whether the plan that you need is relatively straightforward or exceptionally complex, I offer several different estate planning packages, one of which is certain to meet your specific needs.