As a parent, one of the most important things you can do for your children is to protect them. This means protecting them from short-term dangers, as well as making sure they’re taken care of in the future that may be after your passing.
In Illinois, there are several ways that wise parents can begin to ensure that their kids are taken care of in the event of their passing. In this blog, our team at Diamond Estate Planning Law digs into four important ways that you can protect your kids if you pass away in Illinois.
How To Protect Your Kids If You Pass Away In Illinois
While there are undoubtedly many more ways that you can potentially protect your children following your passing, this list will give you four of the most significant and legally powerful ways you can protect your kids.
- Create A Will: Creating a will is one of the most important ways that you can legally formalize your wishes before your death, and this can include provisions and protections for your children. A will is a legal document that outlines how you want your assets and property to be distributed following your death.
It also lets you name an executor, who is the one that will be executing your wishes as detailed in the will. When you create a will, working with an experienced estate planning lawyer will be essential, otherwise, there could be issues enforcing the will later on.
- Designate A Guardian: For parents who have children under the age of 18, designating a guardian is an essential step in protecting them after their death. Their guardian will be personally and legally responsible for the physical and emotional well-being of your children in your absence.
When choosing your guardian, make sure you consider someone who shares your general values and parenting style. Also, be sure you take into account their age, health, and finances, and be sure you communicate your desire to name them as guardians. While it’s a beautiful gesture, some people simply aren’t able to take on such a commitment.
- Name A Custodian: In Illinois, you can name a legal custodian for your children’s assets. This is someone who will be responsible for managing assets on behalf of your children until they reach a certain age. Your custodian should be trustworthy and responsible, just like your potential guardian, and should be willing and able to follow your directions on how to manage the assets.
A custodian and your trustee must have different roles, a trustee will help manage the trust, while a custodian will manage assets not included in a trust.
- Establish A Trust: A major step toward making sure your children are always financially taken care of is to set up a trust for them. A trust is a legal arrangement that allows you to designate assets for your children, as well as to appoint someone to manage those assets on their behalf.
Setting up a trust can be complicated, and to do so properly requires an experienced estate planning attorney. They will help you determine what assets you want to be distributed, and to whom. They will also help you outline how you want the funds to be used, and include any conditions that would allow the kids to access the funds directly.
Let Diamond Estate Planning Law Help You Protect Your Kids Against The Unthinkable In Illinois
While many people may find planning for their passing to be stressful or anxiety-inducing, taking the time now to ensure your kids are protected later can be one of the most important things you do with your assets.
To establish powerful and legally sound estate planning, reach out to Diamond Law. With generations of experience, we are uniquely equipped to help you realize your estate planning goals. Contact us today, and speak with a trusted member of our legal family about your estate planning needs.
Disclaimer: Any information contained herein is solely for informational purposes and is only applicable in the state of Illinois. While it is important that you educate yourself, nothing herein should be construed as legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. For specific questions, we urge you to contact a local attorney for advice pertaining to your specific legal needs.
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