Most people believe their adult children do not require a will, until they get married or have a child of their own. However, realistically, if your adult children have any assets in their name, they should have a will.
Forbes’ recent article entitled “Does Your Adult Child Need A Will?” says that most of us don’t want to think about a will for our children because it requires us to think about our child’s death.
Most people cannot even think about their own mortality, let alone their child’s death. However, for most young adults, a simple will and updated beneficiaries on retirement accounts and life insurance policies (perhaps through their job) is all that’s required to transfer their property, in case they die unexpectantly.
The child will need to designate individuals to receive their assets on their death (like siblings or other family members), and they must name an executor, in many cases a parent or sibling.
If you have your children sit down and draft a will with the help of an experienced estate planning attorney, you should also have them sign a health care proxy and power of attorney. The health care proxy designates a person, usually a family member, to make health care decisions, in the event they cannot make them for themselves. The power of attorney will let a named agent access to the children’s financial assets, in the event they are incapacitated.
It is not uncommon for parents to set up bank accounts for their children, and their grandparents may have also given the children financial assets over the years. Even if your children have not received any financial gifts, they may be working and saving money in their own accounts. These are all situations in which children should have a will.
This will probably be your children’s first experience with estate planning, but it will not be the last. As their assets grow, the planning will become more complex.
Moreover, if your children have families, that will also change the plan. Beginning the estate planning process now also starts their education as to what they should know to properly manage the assets they’ll inherit from you and eventually leave for their own children.
It also introduces your children to your team of advisors so if something happens to you, your children already know where to go for assistance.
One of the main goals of our law practice is to help families like your plan for safe, problem free, and successful transfer of assets to the next generation. Call our office today to schedule a time for us to review your estate plan and identify the best strategies for you and your family to ensure your legacy of love and financial security. Our office is located in Santa Ana, CA but we serve all of California including Irvine, Orange, Tustin, Newport Beach, and Anaheim.
Reference: Forbes (Dec. 21, 2020) “Does Your Adult Child Need A Will?”