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Back to School: Estate Planning Basics You Need to Know

The crisp scent of new books is in the air, which means it’s almost back to school time! For most parents back to school means buying new clothes and pencils for the school year ahead. However, back to school is also the perfect time to consider creating or refreshing your estate plan.

An estate plan is more than just a will. It can include a group of documents that outlines everything from how you want your assets distributed to who will care for your children if something happens to you. Updating your estate plan ahead of the new school year is a great way to realign your goals and protect your children.

The Law Offices of Stephanie Hon want to help you narrow down what to include in your back-to-school estate plan.  


Working Parents and Limited Power of Attorney 

If you’re a working parent, you know how challenging it can be to juggle work, soccer practice, ballet recitals, and daycare schedules. You are no stranger to filling out paperwork and listing an emergency contact just in case you get caught up in something and can’t pick up your child. Yet, what happens if you are traveling for work and can’t get home right away? What if you are in an accident? Who do you trust to protect your child when you can’t be there with them?

You may want to include a limited power of attorney in your back-to-school estate plan. A limited power of attorney is a legal document that gives a specified individual the power to make decisions for you based on the scope of the document.

Parents should also consider naming a guardian for their children. If the unthinkable should happen to you or your partner, do you want your children placed in the care of Child Protective Services? Your estate plan should designate a legal guardian for your children. Every year at back-to-school time, review your choice of guardian and consider whether this person is still appropriate, as sometimes circumstances can change.


Special Needs Trusts 

Parents of children with special needs have a lot riding on their shoulders. You may worry about what your child’s life will look like when you are gone or no longer able to look after them. Leaving them a lump sum of money in your will may seem like a good idea, but often, it will cause more problems for your child than it will solve. When a special needs individual has a large influx of money, they may be disqualified from vital benefits like Medicaid and Supplemental Social Security Income.

A special needs trust is one way to provide financial resources to a child without impacting their eligibility for government and public healthcare benefit programs.


Talk to a Personal Family Lawyer Today 

Our lives are always changing and evolving. What works for us one day may not work for our family tomorrow. Back to school is a great time to sit down with the family, reassess your goals, and make changes to your estate plan.

Whether you have one in place or need to start from scratch, now is the time to enlist The Law Offices of Stephanie Hon for help creating your unique estate plan. Get started today.

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Disclaimer: The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.