The arrival of a new child—especially the firstborn—creates much anticipation and excitement within a family. Suddenly a couple becomes three or more, and with that comes new hopes and expectations for the future.
With a new edition comes more planning: Picking a name, selecting a daycare, choosing a pediatrician. The most important plan, however, that you can make is often the one that folks delay—sometimes indefinitely: An estate plan.
What makes this so important?
No one wants to plan for their own demise. In fact, most of us do our best to avoid it. Choose that route, however, and you could inadvertently derail your child’s future.
Without proper arrangements, state law will determine what happens to your savings, assets, and other belongings. Worse still, the state, not you, will determine who raises your child should you die before your child reaches the age of 18. It’s a risk no parent should take.
What’s the alternative?
Rather than leave your child’s future to the courts, create an estate plan. A basic plan consists of a power of attorney, a healthcare directive (also called a living will), a will and perhaps a trust. In these documents, you can allocate assets, set aside money for a college, and name a guardian.
Caring for your child is more than just providing proper nutrition and education. It is more than just ensuring their safety. Caring for your child means safeguarding their future whether you are here to participate in it or not. A solid, well-thought estate plan can do just that.