It is summer time, which for many Delaware residents means that life is going at a slightly slower pace since their children are out of school. This might provide parents with the time they need to handle some neglected personal business — estate planning. It might not be as fun as planning a family vacation, but it is essential.

People tend to think that wills are mostly about distributing their assets, and that if they do not have anything of value, they do not need a will. What they might not realize is that one of the greatest advantages of a will is that parents are able to appoint guardians for their minor children should they meet an untimely demise. Without this critical piece of information, surviving family members could end up in a court battle to determine who will have the privilege of raising the children. Even when a Delaware court makes a decision, it might not be the one the parents would have made.

Therefore, it is crucial that anyone with minor children executes a will identifying the person or persons that the individual would trust to take on this task. There might be other methods of ensuring that one’s children will be taken care of, but a will and other estate-planning documents, such as trusts, can help provide for their futures at the same time. State laws regarding how a person’s assets are to be distributed in the absence of a will might not take into consideration the fact that the children are minors who cannot own property.

Setting up an estate plan that ensures that the assets will be available to and for the children is a final gift that parents can provide to their children. Estate planning might not be high on the list of priorities, but it is something that needs to be done in order to care for the children. Once complete, it can provide peace of mind for everyone involved.

Source: The Huffington Post, “Before You Travel This Summer, Don’t Forget These 5 Estate Planning Must Dos“, Steve Cook, May 26, 2016