Most of the people that we deal with in our estate planning practice are kind of up there in age and when people get serious about this stuff they're usually in their sixties and seventies. But, I was working recently with a much younger couple with small children who wanted to get everything in order. The husband's father had passed away recently and he had a trust and the estate settlement was so simple. On the other hand, the wife's parents had also passed away recently, they didn't have a trust, and their estate settlement was very difficult.
So, we have to deal with a number of the issues that parents with minor children are concerned about when it comes to estate planning. We spent some time talking about the appropriate guardians or back up parents. In Louisiana, the courts call them tutors, who would be the guardians for the minor children, if mom and dad passed away before the children reach the age of majority. So, we talked about that and they picked some friends. Then we talked about the fact that the husband owned a business, he had a lot of life insurance, and the husband had accumulated some retirement accounts. We talked about how they wanted to leave all of that to their very young children if the husband and wife unexpectedly passed away. We talked about who they wanted to be the trustees of this trust for their children and when they would want the children to be able to receive those funds. They settled on the terms and wanted to make sure it would be used on their children's education, but decided to give them 1/3 of their inheritance at age 25, another 1/3 at age 30, and another 1/3 at age 35. These are common issues for parents with minor children who want to set things up to make it easy. Had they not done this, when they passed away, a judge would pick who would raise their kids and all of that inheritance would be managed or overseen by a court and a judge, until the kids turn 18. Then the inheritance would be dumped into their lap at age 18. So, we are avoiding all of those difficult rules that apply when you don’t put things in place and have it setup so it's smooth and easy for everybody. If these are issues that concern you, reach out to us and we'll take it from there.