As a new parent, your life will change in many ways. While you have a lot on your plate, don’t forget that it is important to carve out time in your busy schedule to review your estate plan. When you review your estate plan, you will likely discover that it’s necessary to make a few key changes.
Here are some of the things to think about as you review your estate plan:
- Your will and/or trust: More specifically, decide who will receive your assets upon your death. If you’re married, you’re likely to name your spouse as your beneficiary, but there may be circumstances in which it makes sense to name your child, such as if you’re divorced. If you have minor children, however, you’ll likely want to create a trust to provide for your minor children and control the age or ages at which they will receive their inheritance.
- Guardian: Identify who would care for your minor child in the event that you and your spouse pass away? Although no one wants to think about or plan for this possibility, this is a question and situation you must answer and address. Naming a guardian will put your mind at ease.
- Health care directive: In the event that you are unable to make your own health care decisions, you want to know that you have identified and appointed the right person to make healthcare decisions for you pursuant to your wishes and instructions. This is why you need a health care directive. It doesn’t directly affect your child, but you want your family to know your healthcare wishes and instructions in order to minimize their worry and stress if you’re incapacitated.
- Special needs trust: If your child has special needs, consider creating a supplemental or special needs trust while they’re young. This allows you to take steps throughout your life that will provide for and protect your child with special needs upon your passing.
If you haven’t created an estate plan yet, bringing a child into your family is a very important and priceless reason to take the first step.
Once you’ve addressed all your questions and concerns, you will have an estate plan that gives you and your loved one’s peace of mind. From there, your only responsibility is to periodically review your estate plan and updated it as necessary.
Don’t let your busy life hold you back from reviewing or creating an estate plan. As a new parent, you want to do everything you can to protect and provide for your family while ensuring your legal rights are protected.