Minor children

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Updated: 4/13/2007 3:35 pm
There are certain items all parents need, regardless of their children's ages. These items include a written will, a durable power of attorney, life insurance coverage, retirement plans, living wills, and health care powers of attorney. However, there are a few other items you might want to consider if you have minor children. A main consideration if you have minor children is the need to select a guardian if you die or become unable to care for your children. The guardian has one primary responsibility--the rearing of the child. The guardian also has the secondary responsibility of managing of the child's assets, unless those assets are placed in a trust. A trust, either a testamentary or revocable living trust, is an important tool in managing your assets for your minor children. A testamentary trust is incorporated into your will. Your assets are transferred to a trustee that holds your assets for your beneficiary. A revocable living trust allows you to sell, give away, or spend, your assets while you're still alive, allowing you to change its provisions as circumstances merit. Furthermore, if you have minor children who will inherit at least $100,000 (100 thousand dollars), you should have a trust that manages their property beyond age 18. This will help to insure that your assets are not wasted by an immature child, or an irresponsible heir. Another important issue involving minors is in regard to cases involving child support. Some states allow money to be collected from a deceased parent's estate upon death, regardless of the existence of a will. For more information, consult a qualified attorney regarding your support obligations, or the obligations of your ex-spouse, as they pertain to your estate.
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