Young Family
Jack Smith is 30-years-old, his wife Claudia is 28-years-old. Jack and Claudia have been married for four years. They have a two-year-old son, Jacob, and are expecting their second child. They just bought their first house last year and both work full-time.

Many people in Jack and Claudia’s situation don’t think estate planning is necessary. They are young and don’t have very many assets, so why would they need an estate plan?

The primary reasons Jack and Claudia need to have an estate plan are to determine who would be the guardian of their children in the event Jack and Claudia both pass away and how assets would be allocated to support their young children while they are minors. This type of situation may require a testamentary trust with guardianship language. A testamentary trust is a section within a last will and testament that defines how assets would be held to benefit their minor children.

Jack and Claudia also need to have a basic health care directive in place. This includes a power of attorney for health care and living will. A power of attorney for health care would give the appropriate person the power to make health care decisions on behalf of the incapacitated person. A living will defines what the principal would like to happen in the event he/she is terminal so that way the family won’t have to make the difficult decision. This document would include a HIPAA waiver, which is necessary under current laws.