When Mom and Dad age, if there is no estate plan, there’s no clear path of who will take care of them. Who is going to make medical decisions? Who has the authority to pay their bills? When there is no plan in place, the process will be more confusing, and it will take longer and cost more than if there had been an estate plan in place.
Problem with Putting Kids’ Names on Accounts
Clients often ask us, “If I have kids, can I just put one of them on the account and tell him or her to share it with the others?” Our answer is that you could, but that is a potentially dangerous estate plan. First, once you put someone on your accountant, that person becomes an owner with you, so all the life problems that person has can affect your account. For example, if you put your adult daughter on your account and she gets divorced, your account could be dragged into that divorce. Or if she’s in a car accident and gets sued and loses the lawsuit, that plaintiff could try to garnish her account. Even if those things don’t happen, if you put just one of your children on an account and tell him or her to share it with siblings, that child is not necessarily legally obligated to do that.
Family Divorce in Your Estate Plan
If you are concerned about one of your children getting a divorce, I call it “the in-laws becoming the outlaws.” But you can control the situation with a proper estate plan. There are provisions that enable you to control how your assets are set aside for your own bloodline.
Disability Benefits for Your Child
If one of your children or grandchildren becomes disabled, you can set up a provision in your estate plan that enables them to qualify for benefits that they are receiving or might receive in the future. You can set assets aside so that they do not count toward other types of expenses.
Managing Addiction in Your Estate Plan
This is a tough situation. If you have a child with an addiction to drugs, alcohol, gambling or something else, you can set up provisions in your estate plan to make sure that money is managed on their behalf. This can help ensure that the money doesn’t become a hindrance to them or encourage their addiction.
How Does FundMax Help with Estate Planning?
FundMax is an educational resource. If you don’t feel like you have fully exploited us for all the knowledge and insights we offer, do some more research. We provide these insights through FundMax, a free retirement resource guide that helps people optimize their retirement funds and avoid regret by making sure they are “all set” for retirement. At FundMax, you can ask questions, watch videos and read some things. We encourage you to explore a lot of material on the site so you can get an idea of our style. You will likely get a lot of your questions answered. If you still want to talk to us; you’re welcome to contact us. We are happy to answer your questions.
This is a resource we have developed for you, for your benefit. Make no mistake, we are a thriving financial firm that makes money. We are a financial firm that takes new clients. But first and foremost, we consider ourselves a significant resource to the public…mostly people we will never need to meet. We believe in providing you with valuable information at no charge. We know it can be intimidating to ask someone for help, especially if you’re a do-it-yourselfer or if you feel like you’re all set. We are here for you as a resource, and we get a lot of clients as the indirect result.
You can further explore our Estate Planning insights:
View our Estate Plan Index page. It's basically a road map to all of our most popular estate planning insights.
You can download our eBook 'The Ultimate Guide to Estate Planning'
This free educational ebook explains estate planning as simple and complete a possible.
Okay, so you’re officially fired up about estate planning, but maybe you’re unsure about how to get started. No problem! We understand that all the information involved in estate planning can be a little intimidating at first.
- Do you have questions, comments or suggestions after viewing our Estate Planning Guide?
- Would you like to video chat or talk on the phone to someone at FundMax before meeting with an attorney?
- Would you like us to recommend an estate planning professional?
Referrals for Estate Planning
If you’re looking for a referral from a tax or legal professional, we will refer people to you if we’re comfortable with them and if we and our other clients have had good experiences with them. We will not refer anyone to you if we are uncomfortable about doing so.
You might need us, but you might not. Maybe you came here and got all the information you need, and you are thinking, “I feel a little guilty because I got all this stuff from them and gave them nothing.” Well, share it. Send it to somebody else…or don’t. We are here for you. We are here for your benefit, so feel free to use all our materials to learn something new. We will be here, still serving you and giving you information.
If you have questions you would like to have answered that you think others might benefit from as well, contact us, and we will likely create a method to answer those questions as well. You are probably not the only one with that question.