Essential Estate Planning Tips for New Parents

estate planning with childrenYou are about to be a new parent. While you are excited about all that entails, what have you added to your to-do list? More importantly, what do you have as a top priority?

Sure, you need to prepare your home for your new arrival, and you want to ensure you are as ready as possible for parenthood. However, you also need to prepare for the unknown – and the only way to do so is with a solid estate plan.

Many new parents overlook the importance of estate planning. Often, they feel like they are too young to worry about the “what ifs,” or just figure that they can do so later after the baby comes. But before the baby is born is the perfect time to draft your estate plan and set up your new bundle of joy for a great future.

Basics for Your Will

For starters, you need to establish a will. Wills are an essential component of an estate plan. While they by no means complete the plan itself, if you do not have a will, you leave your estate up to the probate court judge.

In your will, name a guardian for your children. This person would raise your children and care for them if something were to happen to you and your partner.

While the will is essential, you need to focus on other aspects of estate planning too.

What Else Does Estate Planning Entail?

Estate planning is a complex legal process – much more complicated than you might realize. While you might be tempted to use a DIY form online and just whip up anything that looks right, you would be wise to consult with an attorney. After all, this plan dictates how your children are cared for, how assets are distributed, and what happens to your wealth.

Some aspects of estate planning to focus on as a new parent include:

  • Setting up a trust account. You do not have to be in the top five percent to have a trust – not even the top 50 percent. Anyone can create a trust, including the middle and lower class. The trust is there to protect your beneficiaries and assets. Beneficiaries also do not have to worry about the estate tax, which is beneficial if you have a larger estate.
  • Naming the executor. The executor is the person that handles the administration of your estate if you were to pass on. The administrator (executor) manages the probate process and represents your estate in court as well as any civil matters brought against the estate.
  • Naming beneficiaries for assets. Some assets require that you name the recipient of the account when you open the account, such as your retirement accounts, savings, investment, and brokerage accounts. Be sure to update these beneficiary designations so that they reflect your life after having a child.

Get Assistance with Your New Estate Plan

Whether you have an existing estate plan that you need to update with the name of your new addition or you have never created one, contact an attorney who can help you protect your assets and loved ones. The Law Office of Andrew M. Lamkin, P.C. can help with all probate, estate planning, and trust needs.

Schedule your free consultation today at 516-605-0625 or request more information online.

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