Family 411: Why it's important to think about estate planning while your kids are young


    CENTERVILLE, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT) - What would happen with your kids if something were to happen to you? It's a question most parents don't like to think about, but putting it off could have serious consequences.

    Kim Estess has two young daughters and spends a lot of nights reading. She's also an attorney who specializes in estate planning, so she knows not every story has a fairy tale ending.

    That's why she's made it her professional mission to work with young parents and help them prepare for the worst.

    "It's the most important thing you can do as a parent," Estess, who is a shareholder with O'Diam and Stecker Law Group, said, "but there are so few young families that actually do it."

    "I think it's just such an easy thing to forget about because nobody wants to think about it," she continued. "The idea of death or getting really gravely ill, that's having to face your worst fear, so nobody wants to."

    Putting it off, however, could have devastating impacts, and that's why she said meet with an expert, get your legal documents in order and have the peace of mind, that way you know your family is protected.

    A good place to get started is with a will to establish who would get physical custody of your kids if something were to happen, and then a trust so you can set stipulations on when your children would get access to the funds and what it can be spent for.

    A power of attorney is also important for both financial and medical, which allows a designated person to make important decisions on you behalf should you be injured or killed.

    "It's not fun to talk about, but just getting it done, then you know you have a plan in place, you know your wishes are going to be carried out for each of these scenarios," Estess said, "and you can just have the peace of mind of knowing it's done."

    For help with your legal documents, experts say it's best to find an attorney who specializes in estate planning. Costs normally would normally range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars depending on how many documents and their complexity.

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