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As a parent, you should follow these estate planning tips

As a parent, you always want what's best for your children. This should lead you to create an estate plan with the future well-being of your children in mind. While there's no way of knowing what will happen down the road, there are steps you can take to put your mind at ease.

Here are five essential estate planning tips for all parents:

  • Create a will: This is the first step in the process, as it provides the opportunity to make a variety of key decisions, such as who will receive your assets upon your death. A will also allows you to name a guardian for any minor children.
  • Setup a trust: You may find that a will is not the only estate planning measure you need to take. With a trust, you have more control over your estate and finances upon your death. For example, you can state that your children shouldn't receive their inheritance until they reach a particular age.
  • Name an executor: This is an important decision, as your executor will carry out your final wishes. Choose someone you can trust 100 percent, as you don't want any uncertainty hanging over your head.
  • Designate beneficiaries: For instance, if you have a life insurance policy, you may want to name your child as the beneficiary. This is a big part of estate planning that many parents often overlook.
  • Make funeral arrangements: This is one of the most difficult parts of the estate planning process, because no one wants to think about passing away. However, once you have your funeral arrangements in place, you'll feel good about it. It's nice to know that your family won't have to deal with all of these details after you're gone.

There is no one-size-fits-all strategy for estate planning. What works for you as a parent may not do anything for the next person.

As you create your first estate plan or review what you already have in place, do so with the idea of taking care of your children to the best of your ability. Knowledge of estate planning strategies and your legal rights will help you make informed and confident decisions.

For more information on all aspects of estate planning, browse our past blog posts and review the many pages of our website dedicated to this subject matter.

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