As the head of a young family, you have unique estate planning needs. Depending on the specifics of your situation, you may or may not have accumulated many expensive assets. However, even if you only have a home, a car, and a checking account, you still need an appropriate estate plan if you have minor children.
If you die in Louisiana without an estate plan, leaving minor children, the law provides that your children, not your spouse, will inherit your half of the family assets. This creates an obvious problem with split ownership between your surviving spouse and children who are too young to legally or practically manage assets. Often, the only solution is for the surviving spouse to go to court and open a conservatorship for the minors’ property. Court approval may be required to sell the family home, buy a new home, refinance the mortgage, make changes in investments, or any other major decision concerning the deceased spouse’s half of the family assets.
When both parents die and leave minor children behind, someone must act as a guardian for these children until they reach adulthood. For many young families, the primary purpose of creating an estate plan involves making sure that minor children have financial resources and a competent guardian chosen by the parents in the event of the parents’ death. In fact, the only way to ensure that your children are cared for in accordance with your wishes is to establish a plan in advance. Without an estate plan, the children will be assigned a guardian by the court.
If you are the head of a young family and you don’t have an estate plan, or if you would like to modify your estate plan, Board Certified Estate Planning Attorney Jimmy D. Long, Jr. can help. We serve clients throughout North, West, and Central Louisiana, including Natchitoches Parish, Sabine Parish, DeSoto Parish, Red River Parish, Vernon Parish, Rapides Parish, Grant Parish, and Winn Parish, and the cities of Natchitoches, Alexandria, Many, Zwolle, Mansfield, Coushatta, Leesville, Colfax, Winnfield, and surrounding areas. Please contact us today to schedule an appointment.