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How to Protect Your Children When Drafting an Estate Plan

Estate planning is a process that can be daunting for many parents. After all, no one wants to think about their own mortality, let alone plan for it. However, estate planning is an important step in ensuring that your children are taken care of in the event of your death. Here are some tips on how to protect your children when drafting an estate plan:


One of the most important aspects of estate planning is choosing a guardian for your minor children. This is a difficult decision, as it is impossible to predict what the future will hold. However, there are some factors you can consider to help you make the best choice for your family. First, think about who would be able to provide a stable and loving home for your children. It is also important to consider practical matters, such as whether the guardian lives near your family and whether they would be able to handle the financial responsibility of raising your children. Ultimately, the most important thing is to choose someone you trust to care for your children and make decisions in their best interests. By taking the time to select a guardian ahead of time, you can have peace of mind knowing that your children will be taken care of if something happens to you. An estate planning attorney can help you select a guardian and create a plan that will protect your children in the event of your death.


As a parent, you want to do everything you can to protect your children. Part of that protection involves making sure they are provided for financially in the event of your death. One way to do this is to create a trust for younger children as part of your estate plan. Washington law directs that following your death, an inheritance received by a minor be held in a custodial account managed by your child’s guardian. When the minor child turns 18, the law requires that the custodian distribute the funds in the custodial account to the child. However, if both the child and the custodian agree, the funds in the custodial account can remain in the account until the child turns 21. As you can imagine, it is very rare for an 18-year-old not to accept money. While the money is being held, the custodian can distribute the funds on behalf of the minor as the custodian sees fit. Unfortunately, most 18-year-olds are not responsible enough to handle an inheritance, especially if the inheritance is very large. Most parents’ worst nightmare is for their 18-year-old to receive a large inheritance and then spend the money unwisely in a very short time. Creating a trust, rather than being forced into a custodianship, allows you to have the money held for your child and distribute the funds to them when they are older. Often parents choose to distribute the funds when their children reach the age of 25. Other options allow parents to distribute a portion of the funds at different ages, one half at age 25, for example, and the rest at age 30. This “step” distribution pattern is more protective. If a child makes unwise decisions with their inheritance at age 25, they still have one-half of their inheritance coming to them when they reach age 30. The trust also allows you to appoint a trustee, the person or entity who would hold and manage the funds on behalf of your child. Until final distribution is made, you can direct the trustee to make distributions on behalf of the child for the child’s health, education, maintenance, support, and other items that you approve of. Some parents approve distributions for weddings, the purchase into or the start of a professional practice or business, to name a few examples. If your children are grown, and you have grandchildren, you can create educational trusts for your grandchildren in the same way.

For more information on creating a trust for your children or grandchildren, call Salmon Creek Law Offices today to schedule an appointment with an experienced estate planning attorney.


Reviewing and updating your estate plan on a regular basis is an important part of estate planning that helps protect your family and ensures changes in your family, finances, or beneficiaries are reflected in your documents. When reviewing your estate plan, especially if it was done many years ago or in a different state, it is important to seek legal advice to ensure that the documents are up-to-date and comply with your current state of residence. Updating your estate plan on a regular basis will help to ensure that it continues to meet the needs of you and your family.


Many people put off estate planning because they think it is only for wealthy people or because they are not sure where to start. Estate planning is important for everyone, regardless of age or asset level. It can help ensure that your wishes are carried out in the event of your death or incapacity. It can also help to minimize conflict among your loved ones. 


The attorneys at Salmon Creek Law Offices have been providing legal services to people for over 20 years. We have built our reputation on providing cost-effective and results-oriented legal services to our clients. We are dedicated to building relationships of trust with our clients, and we look forward to earning your trust. Our attorneys and staff are knowledgeable and experienced, focusing solely on estate planning, including wills, trusts, and probate, and we are committed to providing you with the best possible representation and counsel.

Services we provide include:

  • Revocable Living Trusts
  • Wills
  • Probate Services
  • Guardianship
  • Estate Planning Services
  • Business Formation
  • Trust Administration
  • Powers of Attorney
  • Advanced Healthcare Directives

Call us today to schedule a consultation.

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How to Protect Your Children When Drafting an Estate Plan

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