Whenever you have a child, be it your first or a subsequent one, it’s crucial you revise your estate plan. You should do this regularly anyway, but the birth of a child makes it even more imperative.
The following are the principal matters that require review when completing an estate plan revision after a new child has been born or adopted into your family.
Assign someone else legal responsibility for your children if you die
As parents, you are your child’s legal guardians until they turn 18. If one of you dies, the other parent would typically become the sole legal guardian. If both of you die, which could happen, someone else will need to fulfill that role. By selecting someone and naming them as a guardian in your estate plan, you’ll provide security for your child and avoid leaving this life-altering designation up to a court to decide.
Allocate a share of assets to your child
If you were to die without a will, your newborn would get a share of your assets per the state’s intestate laws. If you have a will, but it fails to mention them, they could lose out altogether. Updating your documents allows you to adjust how your assets should be distributed according to your preferences.
Children cannot inherit until they turn 18, so you might wish to set up a trust and nominate a trustee to manage anything your child inherits if you die before they become an adult.
Once you have an estate plan in place, it does not take long to revise it and make the appropriate updates. With the appropriate guidance, you can give yourself peace of mind that your children will be cared for if anything happens to you.