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Creating a trust could protect your minor children

There are so many things to worry about when you're a parent. What kind of diet is best? How much screen time is too much? Are your little ones getting enough time outside? Most importantly, what will happen to your children if you should die unexpectedly?

Most new parents understand that creating a last will that names guardians for their minor children is critical. Taking this step ensures that your children don't end up as wards of the state or in potentially abusive foster care situations. However, have you also taken a moment to consider what assets and resources your children will need to reach adulthood without you?

Creating a trust can provide financial resources

The most nerve-wracking thing about naming a guardian for your children is the concern about misuse of assets or abuse. Especially if you are leaving your children with substantial assets, the potential is there for someone to use those assets for personal gain and leave your children with nothing when they become adults.

Working to create a trust in the event of your death is a great idea. Everything, from life insurance policy payouts to your home can end up as part of a trust if you die. Those assets, in turn, must get handled as you outlined in the trust documentation and your estate plan. Creating a trust helps ensure that no one can use your assets for selfish gain instead of saving them for the benefit of your children.

A trust can place limitations on how much of your assets can get used or what they can be spent on. This can ensure that what gets left for your children will only go to their care and upkeep. You can feel confident that they will remain in the family house or have financial resources available when they turn 18 and become adults.

Don't forget about special needs trusts

If you have a child with Down Syndrome, autism or any other serious disability, you may worry about the care and protection such a child requires even as an adult. Unlike with neurotypical children, special needs children require special planning. Setting aside assets for the future can help ensure your special needs child will receive care and social support into adulthood.

Creating a special needs trust is an ideal way to protect the assets you have earmarked for your special needs child. These trusts can place very specific requirements on dispersals and withdrawals to avoid funds getting squandered or financial abuse by caretakers. Essentially, creating a special needs trust ensures that your child will have access to resources and protection even after your death or incapacitation.

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