Wills and Parents With Children

It is parents with minor children who most need wills because the consequences of not having wills can lead to great burdens at a time when burdens should be eased.

WHAT A WILL CAN ACCOMPLISH

The most important thing a will can accomplish is your exact wishes pertaining to the care of your children, as well as your assets, in the event of your death.

The greatest disaster that can occur is simultaneous death of husband and wife. It is a possibility that must be considered. In the event of simultaneous death a married couple must fill the following positions in their wills:

  1. Executor
  2. 2. Trustee
  3. 3. Guardian

Executor: sees to it that your property is converted to cash if needed (such as retirement Accounts and life insurance policies) and then transferred to your trustee.

Trustee: this is the individual you are trusting to hold and spend the money for the health, education welfare and benefit of your children. Trustees usually are given full power to make decisions regarding the spending of funds due to the uncertainties of life. For example, it may be necessary for the Trustee to spend more money on one child than another due to illness or other need. You must have faith in your Trustee because Trustees operate without court supervision.

A major advantage of having a Trust is that you can determine when your children will receive their full share of the Trust. Without a will, a child will receive their share of the Estate at the age of 18, which can be disastrous due to the poor decisions made by children at that age. A common age selected is the age of 25 for the child to receive their full share of the estate. If the child is going to college then the Trustee is sometimes empowered to provide more money for the child so long as they are in college. The Trustee may be further empowered to give the child their share of the Estate upon the completion of college. The point is that you get decide.

Guardian: the Guardian is the individual who actually cares for your children and will receive funds to do so from the Guardian.

One person can fill all three positions listed above. The most difficult position parents sometimes have filing is that of Guardian. A father may want one of his relatives to take care of the children while the mother may want one of her relatives to take care of the children. A decision must be made that is in the best interests of your children and compromise is essential. For example, one relative may be selected to be primary guardian while another relative is appointed to be an alternate guardian should something happen to the primary guardian which prevents that person from being able to continuing to serve as guardian.

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Texas lawyer Michael Sloan represents clients in McKinney, Plano, Frisco, and throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, in communities such as Allen, Richardson, Prosper, Wylie, Murphy, Sachse, Sherman, Denison, Bonham, Anna, Van Alstyne, Greenville, and Celina, and in Dallas County, Grayson County, Hunt County, Fannin County, Collin County and Denton County.