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The need for estate planning for young parents

Years ago, most Ontario parents would have appointed godparents who would take care of their children, if anything should happen to the parents that would orphan the kids. However, times have changed, and young couples are either less religious or not as traditional as couples from earlier years were, and many young parents may overlook the importance of estate planning and the appointment of guardians for their children. Life is unpredictable, and any couple's children may unexpectedly be left without care if their parents are killed in a crash or an equally horrible incident.

For this reason, establishing estate plans is essential -- even for young couples who refuse to consider their own mortality. Plans need not be complex but should at least include provisions for their children. As the years pass, parents can modify the plans to fit altered circumstances and to accommodate the unique needs of each child. At the start of the process, the most important and challenging task would be to choose appropriate guardians.

The best advice might be for parents to select a couple with similar values, standards and parenting styles as they have. It is also important to make sure the chosen guardians are aware of your choice and will be prepared for the financial, physical and emotional responsibilities in the unfortunate event that will put the children in their care. It is also important to ensure they are aware of the legal processes that they will have to go through to become legal guardians of the children, should such a need arise.

This may all seem overwhelming, and young parents might have many questions about the process of basic estate planning and appointing guardians to ensure proper care for their children. The services of experienced estate planning lawyers are available to provide support and guidance to Ontario parents. Once the initial estate plans are in place, the same lawyer can assist with occasional reviews to make sure important life changes such as new births are included.

Source: Huffington Post Canada, "3 Estate Planning Tips For New Parents", Andrea Love, Accessed on July 7, 2017

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