Minneapolis Estate Planning Attorney, Jacqueline Schuh, discusses the various issues she’s seen when planning for minor children.
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Well, there’s a number of them you have to consider. First, if a family is a blended family, that is that they have children coming in from two different relationships. When they meld together as a family there are questions, or you need to know if there’s anybody that’s disabled in the family, whether it’s a child, step child, or a grandchild. That can lead to possibly adding a supplemental special needs trust to their estate plan. You need to know what the ages of the children are, and what – how they are doing in terms of financials. How they are doing in terms of marriage, are their marriages seasoned or are they struggling with a partner or a spouse. That will lead to different options for estate planning.
In terms of choosing for your fiduciary positions, that is the personal representative, the trustees, and the powers of attorney. You need to know if you have family members or children that are capable of making those decisions. With regard to health care directives, you need to consider whether the children have the emotional strength to make some of the difficult decisions that might need to be made, either for long-term care or for possibly making end-of-life choices and decisions.
So there’s a number of things that come in to play. Also a big one very common for us is setting up trusts for children and grandchildren, and making choices about the ages of distribution of the assets. A child receiving assets at age 18 is significantly different than a child that receives assets at, say, 30, 35, or 40.