Upon the birth of a child the priorities of most young parents change quickly to focus on the baby. Wanting to make sure their children are well cared for and safe usually remains a focus for parents throughout childhood. Despite these motivations, many young parents fail to take the time to consider what would happen if they were suddenly no longer there. Though difficult to imagine, this sadly does occur. Creating an estate plan can ensure your children are taken care of should tragedy strike.
Name a guardian for your children
Unquestionably, the most important thing an estate plan can do is provide instructions regarding who will care for your children. Taking the time to think about who you think would be the best fit for your children, talking to those individuals ahead of time and memorializing that decision in a will, could make it easier for your children to adjust to their new life should something happen to you and their other parent.
Provide instructions for distributing assets
A will can also be used to convey your wishes regarding how you would like your assets distributed. In more complex financial situations, it may make sense to set up a trust account. There are multiple reasons why this route may be appealing for parents including an avoidance of probate and tax benefits.
Name beneficiaries for retirement and insurance policies
While a will provides some information regarding how you want your assets to be distributed, you should make sure the beneficiaries you list on retirement accounts and insurance policies are up to date. Changes can be made to these designations as necessary and when children are born it often makes sense to add them as beneficiaries.
Seek legal assistance
There is no question that the idea of estate planning is overwhelming for many. Working with a lawyer who understands how to accomplish the estate planning goals of young parents can make the process easier to navigate and provide peace of mind.