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What estate planning matters do new parents need to consider?

Parents of young children want to do everything that they can to protect their children. Many of these same parents don't take steps to ensure that their children will be taken care of if something happens to both parents. This can cause unfortunate consequences for the children if they lose both parents. They could wind up in state custody or be placed with family members with whom they have little to no ongoing relationships.

Those with minor children have some special considerations to think about when it comes to estate planning. Making sure that parents plan well in advance for any eventualities can help them feel more secure since they will know that there is a solid custody plan for their children.

Who will raise the children?

One of the most important considerations for young parents is who will rear the children if both parents die. In order to determine this, you have to think about whom you know that can handle the duty. This person should be available to rear them through their entire childhoods. Once you determine whom you want to appoint, you should speak to that person to make sure they are up for the responsibility. From there, you need to include the guardianship designation in your estate plan.

You might want to also include a back-up guardian in case your initial choice isn't able to handle the task. Remember that you can name a different guardian for each child, although most parents want to keep the children together in the same home.

How will expenses be covered?

Rearing a child is an expensive undertaking. You need to make plans to cover the kids' expenses. Some parents choose a physical guardian for their children and another fiduciary guardian to manage their fiscal affairs to avoid any conflicts of interest.

You might set up trusts to handle these financial matters. Your life insurance policy proceeds could fund the trust. Your goal should be to provide for the children as best you can. If possible, you might include provisions for the children when they transition into adulthood, e.g., trust funds to cover college tuition or similar expenses.

Making plans now for your own final arrangements can eliminate the stress for your family members and enable them to focus on helping your children through this tragedy. Outline any wishes that you have in an estate-planning document to ensure that your wishes are upheld.

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