Q What estate planning options are available if I have minor children?
If you have minor children, one option to consider in your estate plan is when and how your children receive the money you leave for them.
If a parent dies without a will or a trust in place, a judge would decide who would be their guardian and how much of your assets would go to them. Most likely, the judge would decree that your children would receive their entire inheritance at the age of 18.
When you create a will or a trust, you get to decide who would be their guardians. You would get to decide if they would get everything outright at age 18, or if certain life events would trigger releasing some of the funds, like graduating from college, turning 25, having children, etc.
With a will, all this information would be public, exposing your children to anyone who reviews probate proceedings with less than honorable intentions.
A properly drafted trust keeps this information private and allows your estate to avoid the time-consuming probate process.