Most likely, the welfare of your two children is the most important focus of your estate planning. When planning your Last Will and Testament for both Mom and Dad, you will need to consider who you want as Guardian or Guardians of your children. These are the people you want to raise your children in the event something should happen to the both of you. Before naming anyone as a Guardian you should have a conversation with them so they understand and accept all the responsibilities and instructions you may have in the raising of your children in your absence. Please make your decision on your choice of Guardian known to other family members as well. This may avoid a court fight for the custody of your children by well-meaning family members afterwards.
Most parents also want to provide their children with some economic protection as well. In this instance, you should discuss a Family Trust for the benefit of your children with your attorney.
In the event something happens to the both of you, the bulk of your assets are left to a Family Trust that is set up to provide financial support and assistance to your children for ordinary living expenses, medical emergencies, and education, such as college. The trust can also prolong distribution of the assets until your children reach a later age at which time they may be more financially responsible.
Your Family Trust will also need a trustee who should be a person who is financially responsible and familiar with investments. If you don't know such a person, there are many banks in Iowa that have Trust Departments, which can assist you in this area for a very reasonable annual fee.
If you have any questions about a Family Trust or need further information, please give us a call or email us here.