Whether you’re giving birth or adopting a child, there are many highs and lows of becoming a new parent. As you change diapers and focus on your child’s immediate needs, it’s critical to think about estate planning, too. The process can, at times, seem overwhelming, but our attorneys are here to help. Today, the Davidson Law Group shares some steps to take that will protect your family in case something may happen to you.
Name Potential Guardians and Trustees
Your child is legally required to have a guardian until he or she turns 18. Identify who you’d want to raise your child if something happens to you and the other parent. If you don’t name a guardian in your will, the court can assign someone, and it may not be your ideal choice.
After you’ve decided on a guardian, decide on a trustee. Your trustee will handle your child’s finances, from paying bills to investing money and distributing funds. Your chosen guardian may also serve as your trustee.
Create or Update Your Estate Planning Documents
When you have a new child, it’s a good time to revisit your estate planning documents and keep them up to date. If you don’t have these documents, our estate planning attorneys can help you put your legal affairs in order. We’ll sit down with you and discuss how to create or update your will, living will, revocable living trust, and powers of attorney. These legal documents are all part of your comprehensive estate plan, which will secure and prepare your family for the future.
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Buy Life Insurance
Life insurance is vital when you become a new parent because your child depends on you financially. When someone dies, there are financial consequences that are unavoidable. Life insurance provides the surviving members with quick access to cash, which helps them support the family and lessens their financial burdens.
You have many options for buying life insurance, including term insurance (covers a fixed period of time) and permanent insurance (lifelong policy). In general, you’ll be asked to name a beneficiary when you set up a life insurance policy.
Name Beneficiaries for Retirement Accounts
Lastly, designate beneficiaries for any 401(k) or IRA account you’ve opened. Simply fill out the form provided by your employer or account supervisor. If you want to update it later, you can complete and submit a new form. When you name a trust or your spouse as a beneficiary for your retirement accounts, you enable the funds to go directly to the recipient, without going through probate.
Start Your Estate Plan Today
Despite what you may have heard, it’s never too early to begin your estate plan. At Davidson Law Group, we help parents with growing families plan for the unexpected. If you live in Texas and are ready to plan for your child’s future, schedule a free consultation with our attorneys in Fort Worth, Allen, or Tyler.