Becoming a parent can change everything about your life in the most surprising and wonderful ways. It also means having a new set of responsibilities to provide for your child’s care today and in the foreseeable future. When your kids are young, it may seem like you have plenty of time to plan. However, being responsible involves more than setting aside money for savings or college. Parents also need to have measures in place for the future should the unthinkable happen. With all that you have going on, you may be wondering: what is estate planning and why do we have to do this now? Here are some reasons why new parents need to make estate planning a priority.
If you are unfamiliar with the term, estate planning can sound a little mysterious. Your estate plan consists of all of the ways you will legally transfer your property and funds to your loved ones when you die. Your plan also includes how you will provide for your minor children and surviving spouse if you should become severely impaired or pass away. Lastly, your estate plan contains legal documents that give your medical providers instructions and allows another person to step in and make medical and financial decisions for you are incapacitated. Estate planning is the process of figuring out what you need, setting goals for yourself, your assets, and loved ones, and working with your attorney to make sure you have the right measures in place.
While it’s not pleasant to consider, tragic events can happen to parents at any time. Serious car accidents occur with shocking regularity in California and throughout the United States. Should one or both parents be involved in a fatal collision or become incapacitated during a crash, their kids could be left in a vulnerable position. In this situation, if parents don’t have an estate plan, the distribution of their resources and decisions about guardianship will be left up to the legal system. While these matters are being worked out by the court, kids may or may not be staying with their parents’ preferred caregivers. Additionally, important assets could be tied up in legal processes rather than being available for the children’s immediate needs and care. By having your California will, advanced healthcare directive, power of attorney for finances, and life insurance set up, you will have the peace of mind of knowing that your children’s requirements will be met should anything happen to you.
Building a comprehensive estate plan involves more than having a will. Parents who want to prepare for the future, have to think about issues such as who will care for their children if they die or become incapacitated, how their funds will be managed and protected for their children’s use, life insurance, and where they want their kids to live. You and the child’s other parent should begin having in-depth discussions about whom you would want to be your children’s caregivers and other related issues. The two of you can also start exploring insurance policies and comparing premiums and talking about different ways to safeguard your estate for your children’s future benefit.
Having a child can be exciting, but it can also be overwhelming. Having the advice of an experienced California estate planning attorney is invaluable for new parents. Your counsel can provide you with the guidance and insight you need to plan for your family’s future and children’s security. Additionally, as your family grows, you will have a trusted advisor to help you adapt your estate plan to fit your changing needs.
Becoming a parent involves assuming responsibility for providing everything your child needs. When you develop your estate plan, you are making sure they will have all that they require no matter what happens down the road. At the Law Offices of Alice A. Salvo, we are experienced estate planning attorneys with the expertise you need to help you plan for your family’s needs today and the in the future. Please contact us online or by phone to start your solution.