3 major estate plan modifications to consider after having a child

On Behalf of | Dec 18, 2023 | Firm News |

After having a child, revising an estate plan may not be high on your list of priorities, but it’s important to do so for the sake of your new family member. Making sure your affairs are in order, including your child’s care, in the event of an unforeseen catastrophe is one of the main advantages of estate planning. If you have an existing plan, an update can help ensure it accounts for your newborn.

Appoint a guardian

Picturing your child’s life without you can be uncomfortable. However, it’s crucial to plan for your child’s future in case you pass away or become incapacitated. Appointing a guardian for a minor child ensures that they will be in the care of someone you trust should the unthinkable occur. Otherwise, it could fuel family disputes or leave the decision up to the court.

Establish a trust

A trust can give you greater over the distribution of your assets. With the guidance of an estate planning lawyer, you can establish conditions for when and how a trustee allocates assets to your heirs.

Trusts can take on many forms. For instance, if your child has special needs, you can set aside funds for their therapies or services through a special needs trust. Alternatively, you can create a trust solely for funding your child’s education.

Figure out healthcare decisions

Appointing a health care power of attorney and drafting an advance health care directive guarantee that your physicians respect your medical choices if you are unable to articulate them yourself. You may include instructions for medical treatments as well as end-of-life choices.

Similarly, you can nominate someone to make medical decisions for your child if you and your spouse cannot do so. Given the weight of the role, it is critical to choose someone you are comfortable with to act as an agent. This person will be responsible for making critical medical decisions on your or your child’s behalf.

The arrival of a new child can shift your priorities in life. For many parents, a child’s well-being surpasses their own. Beyond the modifications mentioned, estate planning offers many other ways to secure your child’s future. It all comes down to ensuring your new family’s needs are taken care of despite distressful events.