The best gift you can give to your newborn child is to start planning for the future before he or she is even born. By sitting down with a Mestayer & Associates attorney, you begin to establish your child’s financial security as well as prepare for those unforeseen moments in which you may need to secure your assets and make sure that your kids are taken care long after you are gone. Below are four starting points that you need to consider:
By law, no child can receive a parent’s assets until he or she is 18. So you will need to set up a trust and then appointing a trustee to take care of the asset until your child comes of age. In addition to your primary assets, you’ll also want to plan for the release of insurance policies, retirement accounts, as well as other accounts in which funds are set to release upon a certain date or circumstance. The trustee needs to be a family member, close friend, or business partner that can be trusted to manage the assets and act on behalf of your children’s interests.
Since you are setting up a trust fund, you may want to designate a part of your assets as a college fund for your child’s education. As you think about the cost of education, you will want to project what the price tag of entering post secondary-education will be in the next 18-20 years instead of how much it is today. A Mestayer & Associates attorney can help you project how much that will be depending on where you would like to send your child. Keep in mind, that you will need to be somewhat flexible and realistic at the same time. The key is to start saving money right away and preparing for various scenarios down the road.
If you do not have your child named as a specific beneficiary along with a designated trustee, then your assets could be tied up in probate for an indefinite amount of time. So when considering what will be passed on to your children, then be as specific as possible. If you want your savings, bank accounts, retirement, business capital or other finances to go directly to your kids, then you need to set up a will that expresses this desire in the greatest amount of detail possible. If you are unsure how to assign the beneficiaries, then a Mestayer Associate can guide you through the process.
Something that you may not have thought about is the burden that estate taxes can have on your child’s inheritance. In a nutshell, if you have business property or an estate that exceeds the tax and gift exemptions, then you will want to be strategic in how you protect your assets. Capital gains can drain an inheritance. If you begin now, you can create a tactical roadmap for preserving your financial portfolio for your child long before he or she turns 18.
Would you like to know more about what you can do to secure your assets for your children and protect their financial future? Then contact the law offices of Mestayer & Associates. We provide experienced and knowledgeable legal services for clients in the Pascagoula, Biloxi, and Gulfport, Mississippi areas. Calls us today at 228-762-1193 to set up a free consultation. You can also visit our website at www.pascagoulalaw.com.