How the Birth of a Child Affects Your Estate Plan

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How the Birth of a Child Affects Your Estate Plan

baby with teether in mouth under bathing towel at nursery

For new parents, just getting out of the house can be a struggle, let alone getting to a lawyer’s office for a serious meeting. Take the time to schedule an appointment with your estate planning lawyer to update your estate plan when you have a new child. Incorporating your child into your estate plan is among the most helpful things you can do for his or her future.

Make Your Child Your Heir or Beneficiary

Since you made your will before your child was born, it does not mention him or her. Most parents want their children to inherit some part of their estates. You need to amend your will or make a new one to properly make your child an heir. The same goes if you have a trust – you may want to set aside some portion of the trust assets for your child’s benefit. To do so, you need to change the trust document.

Many parents decide to take out life insurance on themselves, their children, or both. Your life insurance could list your spouse or your child as the beneficiary. You can do the same for an IRA, 401(k), or some types of pensions. Make sure you fill out and submit the proper beneficiary forms provided by the plan administrator.

Plan for Your Child’s Future

As you are rapidly finding out, the costs of having children seem to increase every day. You may worry about paying for daycare and school, especially with increasingly expensive college tuition prices. Think about starting a 529 plan or another educational savings plan for your child’s benefit. You can put away some money as your child grows older and use it in the future to help pay for school.

Put Emergency Plans in Place

Have you thought about who will care for your child in an emergency when you are not around? You should make plans for close relatives to take over if you can no longer parent your child. If you are having a serious medical procedure or travelling outside the country without your child, consider using a power of attorney for your minor child or just leaving an authorization letter behind. That way your relatives can show authorities that you wanted them to care for your child in your absence.

Again, estate planning lawyers recommend updating your entire estate plan after the birth of your new child. Your wishes may have changed significantly since you first signed the documents. This is a great opportunity to provide for your children in the future and protect yourself too.

Planning your estate? Angela Klenk, Esq. and the team at Beach Cities Estate Law couple personalized attention to your estate plan with big law firm experience for a winning combination to give you peace of mind. To schedule a case evaluation, visit Beach Cities Estate Law online or call Angela’s office at (424) 400-2125.

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