Why New Parents Need an Estate Plan
When you hear about estate planning, it’s easy to think that making an estate plan is just for wealthy families with millions of dollars in assets. Estate planning is essential for every single adult, though, regardless of your assets or wealth. After you become a parent for the first time, you have another big reason to finalize your estate plan. You will need to create or update your estate plan after having a baby. Let’s get into the basics of an estate plan and why it’s important.
Protection for the Next Generation
An estate plan is composed of legal documents that outline exactly how you want your assets and children cared for upon your death or if you’re incapacitated. Creating an estate plan is one of the greatest gifts you can give your loved ones and children because your wishes are carried out without any guessing.
Even if your child isn’t old enough to know what an estate plan is, it protects the assets you will leave them and gives your loved ones instructions on who will care for your child if you die when they are a minor. Without a will or estate plan, the Florida laws determine what happens. A will and estate plan will give you peace of mind knowing your child is taken care of financially and physically if both parents pass away. This is why it’s important to complete or revise your estate plan very soon after having your new baby.
As you start to grow your family and build a career, you may not have a complex estate. This will make your estate plan simple to complete, and Merriman Law Firm has experience creating estate plans for all levels of complexity. Here are some basics you can expect to include in your estate plan.
Important Parts for Your Estate Plan
Each person’s estate plan is as unique as they are. People often need to add or take away portions of their estate plan as their life changes too. Don’t feel like you need to figure out everything on your own. Our team can help you decide what you need for your specific estate planning needs. Let’s briefly discuss some of the essential parts of your estate plan include.
When most people think of an estate plan, they also think about a will. Every estate plan needs a will because your last will and testament will detail who you leave your assets to. If you had a will before you had a baby, you would want to update it because your child will now be included as a beneficiary. While you’re updating your will, update the beneficiaries on your life insurance policies and retirement accounts to include your child.
A trust is a crucial part of your estate plan because it adds another layer of protection for your estate. When you have a child or children, you’ll want to set up a trust that will set aside money for your child that they can access at a later age you choose. Don’t forget to assign a trustee to manage the trust for your child until they are older. This trust ensures that when you die, your money and assets are protected for your child. If you and the other parent die when your child is still a minor, it’s crucial to have a trust set up.
In your estate plan, you will designate a guardian for your child if both parents die. When you take the time to complete a will and estate plan, you get to choose exactly the family member or close friend you want. Obviously, guardianship isn’t included in your will before kids, so it’s the first thing that should be updated after having a child. Without a designated guardian in a legal will and estate plan, the Florida court will determine guardianship for your child.
- Durable Power of Attorney
A durable power of attorney is often forgotten but still a vital part of your estate plan. If you become incapacitated at any point in your life, you will need someone to make financial and other important decisions for you. A durable power of attorney gives this person in your life the legal authority to do so. Therefore, even young adults need a durable power of attorney on their estate plan.
- Health Care Surrogate
A health care surrogate is someone you designate who can make medical decisions on your behalf if you cannot do so. It’s similar to a power of attorney, but a health care surrogate only makes medical decisions. In Florida, the law allows parents to name a health care surrogate for their children if they become incapacitated or pass away.
- Living Will
A living will gives instructions for how you want to be cared for at the end of your life. Many people only think about a will for when they die, but a living will provides necessary instructions for when you are still alive.
Start your Estate Plan Today
It’s simple to start estate planning today. Contact Merriman Law Firm today to schedule your free initial consultation. We’ll help you decide what your estate plan needs for your specific estate and assets. Life can be unexpected, so don’t waste another day without having an estate plan in place for your child.