One of the most frequent reactions I hear when I tell someone that I am an elder law attorney is that they are too young to think about “that kind of stuff.” Or that they’re not established enough to have an “estate” to worry about.
I strongly believe that all parents of minor children should develop a plan for their children in the unlikely, but tragic, event that both pass away. This starts by having a conversation with your spouse. Who do you want to take care of your children if both parents pass away or become incapacitated? This second consideration is an important one. If both parents are, for instance, in a car wreck and expected to recover, someone may still need to be able to make decisions for the children.
In Texas, parents may plan for guardianship of their children either through a will or a standalone declaration. Additionally, parents have the option to set up a revocable living trust, which allows for greater flexibility and control of assets than a standard will. This can be especially helpful to ensure that monies are set aside for certain things (like education) rather than simply bequeathing all assets to the children.
Second, many people think estate planning is only for incredibly wealthy people like Jeff Bezos and Beyonce. However, if you’ve worked hard throughout your life, perhaps you own your home or have savings set aside, you would probably like to protect it. Consider that 50% of married couples will exhaust their life savings within the first year in a skilled nursing facility. Consider, further, that seven in ten people will require some form of long-term care in their lifetime.
Meeting with an elder law attorney before a health crisis strikes can mean the difference between passing down the family home and spending your life’s savings to pay for a nursing home. Instead of worrying about the future, you can be empowered and do something about it. Contact Balmos Law to start your plan.