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Estate plan considerations for parents

Parents strive to protect and provide for their children as much as possible. A proper estate plan can aid in accomplishing this, even when a parent is gone.

To do this, parents must have the right elements within their estate plans. Whether a new parent or a parent of a growing family, a few aspects of the estate plan deserve consideration.


Selecting the right executor is critical to the fulfillment of a party's wishes after passing. Therefore, estate holders should choose executors who not only meet the set criteria according to the court, but who also meet their personal criteria. In other words, parties should choose executors who understand and respect their wishes, and who they believe will operate in the estate beneficiaries' best interest. 

Guardianship options

Some parents may see appointing guardianship as a no-brainer if the child's other parent is in the picture. However, it is advisable to select at least one additional guardian, in case the other parent is not mentally or physically able to take on the task upon the estate holder's death. Parties should also consider temporary guardianship if the  guardian is out-of-state.

Transfer of assets

Estate holders can add stipulations in a will as to the how and when of certain asset distributions. For parents with younger children, this can help designate how and when children receive their inheritance. These stipulations may hinge on certain dates or milestones, such as a child reaching his or her 18th birthday or graduating from college.

While these aspects can help to cover several important areas of a parent's estate plan, each situation is different and may benefit from additional estate planning tools. Therefore, parties should consider all their assets and their wishes to determine the best options for them and their families.

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