If you are a new parent trying to raise your new family, you are probably trying to get enough sleep, get through work and figure out how to juggle so many responsibilities at the same time. You are probably tired and stressed out, which is understandable, especially if you do not get enough rest.
Aside from making sure you get enough sleep, it is important not to overlook the importance of planning for your children’s future through an estate plan. In simple terms, an estate plan ensures someone is there to carry out your wishes if something happens to you.
Naming a guardian
The first and most important step is to designate a guardian for your children. This person will be responsible for their well-being if you and their other parent cannot care for them.
Choose someone you trust implicitly and discuss this decision with them beforehand. Consider their values, parenting style and willingness to take on the responsibility.
Ensure your children’s financial stability by setting up a trust fund. A trustee (someone you appoint), who will distribute the assets for your children’s needs, can manage this fund. Clearly outline your wishes regarding the use of these funds, such as education, healthcare and other essentials.
Investing in a life insurance policy is a practical way to provide for your family’s financial needs. In the event of your untimely passing, the life insurance payout can cover living expenses, mortgage payments and other costs, offering your children financial security.
Include healthcare directives in your estate plan. Specify your preferences for medical treatment, and appoint someone you trust as the healthcare proxy to decide on your behalf if you cannot do so. Prioritizing your children’s well-being is critical.
Regularly update your plan
As your family grows and circumstances change, it is essential to revisit and update your estate plan. Births, deaths, marriages and other life events can affect your plan’s effectiveness. Make it a habit to review and adjust your estate plan accordingly.
Legal help matters
When thinking of creating your estate plan and regularly updating it, having an attorney that can help you with all of this is one thing that makes an enormous difference.
You will feel at ease knowing that what you are doing is all according to your wishes, is legal and that someone with knowledge about estate planning has your back to help answer questions, walk you through the process and be there for you.
Thinking of the future, especially estate planning, may not have been on your list of priorities, but it absolutely should be. The unexpected happens, even when we least expect it, and when you have children, it is important to protect them from anything that could happen if you are not there to care for them.