Why should new parents have an estate plan?
Having a child is a time of great joy, but becoming a parent also comes with a number of concerns. While no one wants to think about dying or becoming disabled when a child is born, this is the time to think about the future and make important decisions about how to best protect your family. In short, it is essential for new parents to create an estate plan.
Estate Planning 101
Many are aware that having a will is necessary for determining how their assets will be distributed after they die. But the fact is that more than half of Americans do not have this most basic estate planning document in place. More importantly, a will is the only way in which new parents can name guardians to care for their children. When naming guardians, it is vitally important to name individuals who are not only capable of raising a child, but who also have the same values. By not having a will, the court will make these decisions in a way that does not agree with your wishes.
In addition to having a will, there are other steps that new parents need to be taken to protect their family, particularly planning for the possibility of incapacity by creating powers of attorney for finances and healthcare. First, a durable power of attorney for healthcare allows a new parent to name a trusted friend or relative to act as an agent to manage both personal and financial affairs. Next, a power of attorney for healthcare names a trusted person to make medical decisions according to a parent's wishes when he or she is unable to do so.
Lastly, It is all essential for new parents to have adequate life insurance so that the family is protected, and also to designate beneficiaries on retirement accounts so that these assets can be properly transferred.
Becoming a parent is a lifestyle adjustment that requires hard work and patience. At the same time, it is important not to lose sight of the fact life is not an endless journey. By engaging the services of an experienced estate planning attorney, you will have peace of mind knowing that your family will be protected.