Think that having an estate plan is only for the super wealthy or those in the final stages of their life? You’d be wrong! As explained in greater detail in this article from Nasdaq, a critical time for developing an estate plan is upon the birth of your first child. Why at this time? Not only does an estate plan establish your wishes regarding the passing on of assets and end of life decisions, but, most importantly for new parents, an estate plan establishes who will care for your child upon your incapacity or passing. This ability to name a guardian for your child is of critical importance to new parents.
You probably spent the last nine months – if not years – envisioning the life you would like to give to your child. While your vision of course never contemplated your passing, in the unlikely event of your passing, what is more important than ensuring your child continues to receive the life you pictured for him or her? Rather than leaving such a critical decision up to the court – or worse, a family custody battle – it is prudent to discuss your wishes with your family and establish a written estate plan to guide in these circumstances. Through an estate plan, you can name exactly who you want to care for your child upon your incapacity or passing. You can also include specifics about how you would like your child to be raised. Concerned that the selected guardian might not be the best to manage your child’s finances? No problem! You can always name a second individual to act as the manager of your child’s financial affairs.
In addition to this critical step of establishing a guardianship plan for your child in the event of your incapacity or passing, it is also important to speak with your estate planning attorney about the possibility of obtaining life insurance for yourself and/or your spouse as an additional safeguard for your family.
Your new baby has arrived and you are filled with the love and amazement – and exhaustion – that comes with new parenthood. But don’t forget, amidst the new parent haze, about the importance of a contingency plan for your child. Give me a call today and let’s discuss the best way to ensure your child is safe and protected, no matter what the future may bring.