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Three ways parents can use estate plans to protect their children

The world changes once you become a parent. Instead of taking steps only to protect your own future and the future of your spouse, you now have to take steps to protect your children. With a few steps you can put a plan in place that will better ensure a good upbringing, no matter what the future may hold.

Step 1: Choose a guardian

It is important to choose an individual or family to raise your children. Discuss this with your chosen guardian. Once your decision is made, finalize the official guardianship documentation.  

Step 2: Put together a trust, or two

In some cases, it is beneficial to put together a trust. If structured wisely, a trust can bypass probate and give you greater control over the distribution of your assets.

This is helpful if you have minor children. You can create a trust that allows for regular payments to help with the rearing of the children. This can pay for things like attendance at a private school, vacations at favorite locations to keep family traditions alive and healthcare expenses.

Step 3: Get a health care proxy or advanced health directive

It is not fair to leave loved ones to guess on the type of care you prefer. Whether due to a serious car accident or a battle with a long-term illness, a health care proxy or advanced health directive can explain exactly what you want when you cannot communicate these wishes on your own.

Once complete, parents can rest a little easier knowing they have taken an important step towards protecting their children’s future.

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