Becoming a parent changes everything. It makes you see your life in a new way. You care deeply about your child, and that love is only made greater by the fact that you know that your child depends on you in so many ways. You want to do everything in your power to give the child the safe, happy, fulfilling life that he or she deserves.
When people have their first child, it is often the first time they really think about estate planning. You may have understood in an abstract way that you would need a plan if you passed away unexpectedly, but now that need feels more real. The way you craft your estate plan can have a massive impact on your child and may be the only real way you can care for him or her when you’re not actually around to do it.
Remember, the estate plan you create is about more than just leaving your money and physical assets to your child. That’s a good place to begin, but that’s more of the main concern for those with adult children. They’re thinking about taxes, dividing assets fairly, and leaving as much as possible to their children.
Those are good things for you to keep in mind, but you may also want to think about issues like guardianships or setting up a trust so that your child has access to the money much later in life. If you were suddenly gone, who would provide for the baby? Who would take care of your child’s needs? Where would your child live? How can you make things easy both for that caretaker and for your child?
These types of real-world, everyday questions become most important, and you must think about how they factor into your estate plan. If you’re having trouble sorting out your options, take the time to discuss your concerns with an experienced advocate.