Every Parent Needs a Last Will and Testament WRITTEN BY CHRISTIE TOURNET
AS A PARENT
of minor children (under the age of 18), our top priorities usually consist of financially and emotionally providing for our children. If a parent, and especially both parents, pre-decease a child, this need becomes crucial. A will permits appointment of a tutor (legal guardian) for your child. The tutor continues to physically and emotionally care for a child including provision of food, clothing, shelter, education, healthcare and even religious practice. This carefully considered appointment not only provides peace of mind to the parent, but it can also alleviate legal battles. Specifically, when both natural parents have pre-deceased a minor child and a will does not provide a tutor appointment, a court ultimately chooses a guardian. A will also permits you to continue to ensure your childâ€™s financial well-being. The financial guardian, or trustee, becomes responsible for managing the minor childâ€™s financial affairs, generally until the age of majority or a bit later. While the tutor and trustee can be the same person, the appointments need not be to the same person. Instead, it is best to appoint someone known to be financially responsible as trustee. In addition, providing a testamentary trust permits a parent with a great deal of control for outlining the childâ€™s continued financial care. The parent can specify what assets are included in the trust and how and when to distribute those assets. Parents of adult children also face concerns. For example, a parent might worry about the most fair distribution or if unequal distribution is best considering specific needs of individual children. Parents of adult children may also consider the use of testamentary trusts where children have financial or addiction struggles. Preparing for your will permits parents to consider, and address, all of these unique issues.
Christie Tournet & Associates, LLC, provides estate planning, estate administration and commercial law services. The practice is located at 1795 W. Causeway Approach, Suite 103A in Mandeville. 985-951-2177, tournetlaw.com.
Sophisticated Woman | July 2017