The Importance of Having an Estate Plan for Parents with Young Children

In this blog post we discuss the importance of having an estate plan in place if you have minor (under 18) children.



1/5/20243 min read

boy in black t-shirt hugging girl in red and white polka dot dress
boy in black t-shirt hugging girl in red and white polka dot dress

As parents, our primary concern is the well-being and security of our children. This becomes even more pivotal when considering the uncertainties of life. In Pennsylvania, as in other states, having a comprehensive estate plan is not just a financial decision but a fundamental aspect of responsible parenting, especially if you have minor children. In this blog post, we’ll delve into why it's crucial to have an estate plan in place for the protection and care of your children under 18 and how the Ament Law Group can assist you in this vital process.

Understanding Estate Planning for Minor Children:

Estate planning, often misconstrued as a concern for only the wealthy or the elderly, is actually a critical tool for every parent. It’s not just about distributing assets; it’s about making key decisions that will affect the future of your children if you are no longer there to care for them.

1. Appointment of a Guardian:

Perhaps the most compelling reason for estate planning is the ability to appoint a guardian for your children. Without a will or estate plan, the state of Pennsylvania may determine who will care for your children if both parents pass away. This decision might not align with your wishes or your children's needs. By proactively appointing a guardian in your will, you ensure that your children are cared for by someone you trust and who shares your values and parenting style.

2. Creating a Trust for Financial Management:

Estate planning allows you to set up a trust to manage any assets or inheritance left to your minor children. A trust ensures that these assets are used for the benefit of your children, under terms you specify. Without a trust, any inheritance may be managed by court-appointed individuals until your children reach adulthood, which might not align with your intentions for their upbringing and education.

3. Designating a Trustee:

Alongside setting up a trust, you’ll need to designate a trustee – someone responsible for managing the trust assets. This role is crucial as the trustee will have significant influence over the financial upbringing of your children.

4. Ensuring Continuity of Care:

A well-structured estate plan can provide instructions for your children’s education, health care, and general upbringing, ensuring continuity in their lives despite the unforeseen.

5. Minimizing Legal Complications and Delays:

Without a clear estate plan, your family might face legal hurdles and delays. A solid plan eases the transition during a difficult time, reducing the likelihood of family disputes and legal complications.

The Legal Framework in Pennsylvania:

Pennsylvania law offers several avenues for protecting your children through estate planning. However, navigating these legal waters can be complex. The importance of tailored legal advice cannot be overstated, especially when minor children are involved.

1. Guardianship Laws:

Understanding PA guardianship laws is crucial. These laws dictate who can be appointed as a guardian and the process for such appointment.

2. Trust Laws:

PA trust laws provide the framework for creating and managing trusts for minors. This includes tax implications and the legal responsibilities of trustees.

3. Probate Process:

Being familiar with the probate process in PA is important. Proper estate planning can streamline or even bypass this process, ensuring that your children are provided for without unnecessary delays.

Why Choose Ament Law Group?

At Ament Law Group, we specialize in family-focused estate planning. Our expertise in Pennsylvania law ensures that your estate plan will be robust and tailored to your family’s unique needs. We understand the nuances of appointing guardians, setting up trusts, and navigating the legal landscape to safeguard the interests of your minor children.


The prospect of not being there for your children is a difficult thought. However, responsible estate planning offers peace of mind, knowing that your children will be cared for according to your wishes. It's a gesture of love and responsibility towards your family.

Don't leave your children's future in uncertainty. Contact the Ament Law Group today. Our skilled attorneys are ready to help you craft an estate plan that ensures the well-being and security of your minor children, giving you the peace of mind you deserve. Remember, estate planning is not just about preparing for the end – it's about planning for your family's continued happiness and security.