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Parents of young children can benefit from estate planning

The life of a new parent, while often rewarding, can also be incredibly hectic. Between feeding, changing and scheduling, every day that a new parent spends with their young children can be challenging and overwhelming. New parents in Colorado and all over the country may find it difficult just to get through each day, let alone planning for when their children are grown. However, young parents might find it beneficial to do some estate planning even when their children are very young. Creating a broad plan when the children are still young could prevent some confusion and turmoil should anything happen to one of their parents. Also, performing some estate administration could set some clear goals for the children that the family can help them achieve, as well as setting them on a positive trajectory.

For example, creating a plan that focuses on expected milestones in a child's life can be beneficial. Events such as graduating high school, attending college and getting married can all be planned for. The estate plan can account for how these events will be handled when both parents are healthy and alive, as well as what would happen if one or both parents died.

Another approach involves setting goals for your children at specific ages. Knowing what you want for your children in five, 10 or even 20 years can help establish a plan that can be adjusted as time goes on. For example, if the parents agree that their child should attend a private college, that will require some different planning techniques when compared to attending less expensive schools. Goals can be changed as children grow up, and in the meantime, an estate plan can provide a crucial framework in the unfortunate event of the parents' deaths.

Source: wsj.com, "Voices: Mark Powell, on Helping Young Parents Begin an Estate Plan" Mark Powell, Jan. 06, 2014

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