If you have just welcomed a newly-born member of your family into the world, congratulations! While it can be very difficult to think about the risk that you might not be around to enjoy watching their life unfold for decades into the future, the responsibility that you have to care for that new little person means that if you don’t have an estate plan in place, it’s time to speak with a legal professional.
If you refrain from estate planning and something should happen to you, it will be the state – not you – that decides who will act as guardian for your child. If you’re like most Americans, chances are good that you don’t like when the state tells you how much you have to pay in property taxes, let alone who should raise your child should you become unexpectedly injured or ill and pass away.
To prevent this kind of governmental intervention from determining your child’s caregiver situation, you’ll need to name a potential guardian(s) in your will.
Thinking about property
While naming a guardian is the most critical step you’ll need to take while estate planning, you may also want to speak with a legal professional about how best to ensure that your child is financially supported in the event of your death or incapacitation. From naming them as a beneficiary on various accounts and insurance policies to potentially setting up a trust in their name, there are a myriad of ways that you can utilize estate planning resources to achieve this aim.
Thinking about the risk of not being around to watch your child grow up can be painful. But if you don’t stop to think about this risk and to put certain protections in place, your child could pay a heavy price as a result of your inaction.