Estate Planning for Parents With Minor Children in Virginia Beach

Even when someone has little property to pass on, a parent with young children should make a will to name a guardian to care for them. If the other parent is alive when one dies, the surviving parent assumes custody of the children if the parents were living together. If the parents were living apart when one of them died, the surviving parent has the right to petition for custody of the children.

If a single parent dies without naming a guardian, a surviving parent with custody rights could assume custody of the children. If the surviving parent is unknown or does not have custody rights, the state social services agency will try to find an appropriate relative to care for them. The agency could choose the children’s other parent, even if that parent had little involvement in the children’s lives. When the children have different second parents, social services could place them in separate homes. Sometimes, the agency places orphaned children in foster care.

An estate planning attorney can help a parent decide who should care for their children after death and make the necessary arrangements. Ensuring children remain together and are raised in a loving environment is one of the most important steps a parent can take to protect their family. It is also vital to ensure funds and property go to supporting and providing for your children. Contact our team for assistance with estate planning for parents with minor children in Virginia Beach.

Choosing Who Will Care for Your Children

Virginia Code § 64.2-1701 allows you to designate a guardian for your child in your will. In most circumstances, the child’s other parent will be their guardian if one parent dies. If the other parent has abandoned the child or is unfit, or if both parents die at the same time, a court will honor the designation of a guardian in a will.

Guaranteeing your children are raised in the same household could be challenging if they have different co-parents. A Virginia Beach attorney could review your specific situation and suggest alternatives for your estate plan to preserve your minor children’s sibling relationships if you die prematurely.

Discussing guardianship with the person you select before naming them in your will is essential. Should the person be unwilling or unable to serve as your children’s guardian, the court will appoint an alternative who might not be a person you would have chosen.

Naming a Guardian for Your Child’s Property

In addition to naming a person to care for your children, your will can also name someone to manage the property you leave for them until they reach adulthood. This person is called the guardian of the child’s estate. It can be the same person you designated to raise the children or a different person.

The guardian of the estate will manage any property and funds you leave for the children. They will use the income the property generates to pay for their basic needs and education. The guardian may use the principal funds in the estate if the income is insufficient. Any money remaining in the estate becomes the child’s property when they turn 18.

A will could name a guardian of the estate to manage property for the children’s benefit even if the other parent is living and raising the children. In that case, the remaining parent has an obligation to support the children and provide for their basic needs and should not use money from the children’s estate unless a court authorizes it. A Virginia Beach lawyer could advise a parent on how to design an estate plan to ensure the children receive sufficient financial support and have access to the property when they come of age.

Contact an Attorney To Learn About Estate Planning for Parents With Minor Children in Virginia Beach

When you have young children, you can ensure their future by writing a will that designates a person to raise them and directs that the property you leave is used for their benefit. Without a will, a court might decide who your children live with and who manages their property.

Take the time now to learn about estate planning for parents with minor children in Virginia Beach. Call our office today to schedule a consultation.

Areas We Serve

With an office near Town Center, Virginia Beach and a second location beside the Chesapeake courthouse, our team provides quality legal representation across the entire Hampton Roads Area.

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Parks Zeigler, PLLC – Attorneys At Law

Parks Zeigler, PLLC – Attorneys At Law N/a
4768 Euclid Road,
Suite 103

Virginia Beach, Virginia 23462
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