Starting a family is an exciting and joyful event. Welcoming a child into your home can stir in you emotions you have never experienced. Many parents recognize a change occurring in them when they are finally home with a new baby. They have the overwhelming realization that they are responsible for protecting and caring for this new life.
If this realization has hit you, you may be thinking about the future and the uncertainty ahead. To some, it may seem morbid to consider the possibility that something may happen to you before your child reaches adulthood. However, to you, it seems smart, mature and generous to take steps to build an estate plan that will address the unthinkable.
Life insurance is just the start
Your first decision may be to buy life insurance. Many financial advocates recommend that both parents carry life insurance policies even if one is not working while the child is young. You can calculate the cost of childcare, housekeeping, cooking and other practical services the stay-at-home parent provides when figuring a reasonable amount of insurance to purchase.
Stopping with a life insurance policy may fall short of the needs your child will face if something tragic and unexpected should happen to you. With a will, you can do much more than ensure you child receives the assets from your estate. For example, you can assign a custodian to manage your estate’s assets until your child is old enough to handle them.
Your will can also name a guardian to care for your child. This may prevent a drawn-out custody battle among relatives that results in the court choosing someone to raise your child. By choosing a trusted person who agrees to be your child’s guardian, you will have peace of mind that your child will be in good hands should anything happen to you. Many advisors suggest that selecting someone to be your child’s guardian is arguably the most important estate planning decision to make at this stage in life.
Estate planning is not only for the elderly. New parents can provide generous protections for their families by examining the many estate planning tools available. A skilled New Hampshire attorney can guide you through this process and help you choose the instruments that are most appropriate for your situation. Finally, an estate plan is not something you prepare and forget. It is wise to revisit and revise your plans often, especially when you experience life changes.