How to Protect Your Family’s Assets with Estate Planning

Hey there, moms! Let’s chat about something that might not be the most exciting topic but is super important for our families: estate planning. I know, it sounds a bit formal and maybe even intimidating, but trust me, it’s all about ensuring our loved ones are taken care of, no matter what.

So, grab your coffee, and let’s dive into how we can protect our family’s assets with estate planning in simple, easy-to-understand steps.


What is Estate Planning?

First things first, what exactly is estate planning? In a nutshell, it’s making a plan for what happens to your stuff—like your home, savings, and other valuables—after you’re gone. It’s also about making sure your wishes are followed if you can’t make decisions yourself.

Think of it as a way to put everything in order for your family’s future.

Why is Estate Planning Important?

As moms, we always want the best for our kids and our families. Estate planning ensures that our assets are distributed the way we want and that our loved ones are financially secure. Plus, it helps avoid unnecessary stress and legal headaches for our family members during already difficult times.

Arag Legal reminds us, “To avoid surprises later you should have regular talks about your estate plan with your loved ones, as well as anyone who will be involved in carrying out your intentions, such as the executors or agents of any of your plans.”

Getting Started: The Basics

  1. Make a Will: This is your opportunity to decide who gets what. Without a will, the state decides, and that can lead to a lot of confusion and conflict. You can also name a guardian for your minor children in your will.
  2. Choose a Power of Attorney: This person will make financial and legal decisions on your behalf if you become unable to do so. It’s crucial to pick someone you trust completely.
  3. Create a Health Care Directive: Also known as a living will, this document outlines your wishes for medical care if you can’t communicate them yourself. You’ll also appoint a healthcare proxy to make sure your wishes are followed.

Trusts: More Than Just for the Wealthy

Trusts might sound like something only the super-rich need, but they can be helpful for all families. A trust allows you to specify how and when your assets are distributed, which can be particularly useful if you have young children.

Trusts can also help reduce estate taxes and avoid probate (the legal process of distributing your assets), saving time and money.


According to T. Row Price, “When you’re young, seeking a voice in what will happen to your estate after you are gone may not feel particularly urgent to you. However, these are important issues—especially the distribution of your assets to your children. For instance, in the absence of direction from you, your children may inherit your estate in one lump sum when they reach the age of majority, which is 18 in most states.”

Protecting Your Digital Assets

In our digital age, it’s important not to forget about your online presence. Make a list of your digital assets—like social media accounts, online banking, and subscriptions—and how you want them handled. You can include this information in your will or create a separate digital estate plan.

Regularly Review and Update Your Plan

Life changes, and so should your estate plan. Major life events like marriage, divorce, the birth of a child, or even a significant increase in assets should prompt a review and update of your estate plan.

Aim to review your plan at least every few years to make sure it still aligns with your wishes.

Seeking Professional Help

While it’s possible to create a basic estate plan on your own, working with an estate planning attorney can provide peace of mind that everything is set up correctly.

They can help navigate the legal complexities and ensure all documents are legally binding.

According to 360degress of Financial Literacy, “Engage the professional team that you already work with to make sure that your actions and intentions are aligned. Having a well-articulated financial plan prior to engaging an estate planning attorney will be key in the implementation of a plan that is consistent with your family’s wishes. Your CPA will be able to contribute to the discussion of the important tax implications of the estate planning strategy.”

Involving Your Family

Talking about estate planning with your family might feel a bit awkward, but it’s important. Being open about your plans can help avoid misunderstandings and ensure everyone is on the same page.

You don’t have to go into every detail, but letting your loved ones know the basics can be very helpful.

Start by choosing a comfortable time and place to have the conversation. Maybe over a Sunday dinner or during a family gathering where everyone is relaxed. Explain that you want to discuss something important for everyone’s future security and peace of mind.


Here are some tips to help you navigate this conversation:

1. Be Honest and Clear

Share your intentions and the reasons behind your decisions. Explain why you’ve chosen certain people for specific roles, like who will be the executor of your will or the guardian of your children. This transparency can prevent future conflicts or hurt feelings.

2. Encourage Questions

Let your family members ask questions and express their concerns. This is a good time to address any misunderstandings and explain your choices in more detail.

3. Discuss the Benefits

Highlight the positives of having a clear estate plan. Explain how it will make things easier for them during a difficult time, by reducing the stress and confusion that often comes with handling a loved one’s estate.

4. Talk About Values

Share your values and wishes for how you want your legacy to be managed. This can include your thoughts on charitable donations, heirlooms, or how you’d like your assets to support future generations.

5. Use Examples

Sometimes, giving real-life examples can help illustrate your points. Maybe you know someone who had a well-planned estate, making things smoother for their family, or, conversely, someone who didn’t, which caused stress and disputes.

6. Provide Copies of Important Documents

Let your family know where they can find important documents like your will, trust agreements, and insurance policies. Consider giving copies to a trusted family member or storing them in a safe, accessible place.

7. Reassure Your Family

Let them know that this plan is about love and responsibility. It’s about making sure they are taken care of and that your wishes are respected.

Remember, the goal of involving your family in estate planning is to ensure everyone understands and feels comfortable with your decisions. It’s a way to show that you care deeply about their future and well-being.

So, take your time, be patient, and approach the conversation with love and openness.

To Wrap Up

Estate planning is an act of love and responsibility. It’s about protecting your family’s future and ensuring your wishes are honored. So, take a deep breath, start with the basics, and know that you’re doing something incredibly important for your family.

Remember, moms, estate planning isn’t just for the wealthy—it’s for everyone. By taking these steps, you can rest easy knowing your family’s assets are protected and your loved ones are cared for. Want some more specific advice to really secure your future? Look up our guide on how to start a family trust! Take care and happy planning!

Kathy Urbanski

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