Do you need to name your children in your will/trust?

by | Dec 2, 2020 | Estate Planning |

When planning their estate, many people in California wonder if they should include their children in their will or trust. Some parents view their estate as their final gift to their children. However, some parents fear that leaving a large sum of money to their children might not be acting in their best interests. Here’s what to consider when distributing assets of your estate.

Do you need to include your children in your will/trust?

You’re not obligated to leave anything to your children during the estate planning process. If you don’t want to include your children, that’s your decision. But if you want your children to get a share of your estate, it’s important to specifically name them in your will to ensure that they receive the assets.

It might seem easier to leave everything to your spouse or your eldest child and assume that they’ll divide up the assets equally. However, there’s no guarantee that they’ll divide up the assets after your death. Once you’re gone, they might decide to keep everything for themselves, and they’ll be legally able to do so.

In your estate planning documents, you can include stipulations that protect your children from losing benefits or paying massive amounts of estate taxes. You may want to hire an attorney to help you write a legally binding estate plan that covers all possible issues before they happen.

If you don’t want to leave your assets to your children, there’s no need to include them in your will/trust. However, you can still leave them a portion of your estate by making your children the beneficiary of certain assets. This includes savings accounts, retirement funds, and life insurance policies. Keep in mind that named beneficiaries override anything that’s stated in your will/trust. You can also place funds in a trust that will control how money is spent.

Should you hire an attorney while planning your estate?

You may want to hire a legal professional to help you manage your estate. An attorney may help you make smart financial decisions that provide for your loved ones long after you’re gone and protect your beneficiaries from legal issues that might arise. More importantly, still, is knowing that you’ve hired a qualified professional who takes into account all of the essential legal considerations in preparing the plan; there is no greater peace of mind than knowing everything is not only done but also done RIGHT.

If you have any questions about this, please feel free to reach out to us (707-681-5851 or [email protected]) or set up a complimentary consultation at your convenience by clicking on the following link: