Estate Planning For New Parents In Central Connecticut
You are expecting a child in 2022. You are overjoyed to start this journey as a new parent. But there is so much to do. You know you need to look for a college savings plan for your child, research health insurance, and apply for their Social Security card. You’ll also need to save a nest egg for unexpected expenses, research to find a great pediatrician, plan to provide for college, what sports will the child play, day care, grandparents, play dates, and many, many more decisions. But what are some other ways you can prepare for a new child’s arrival? How does estate planning factor into parenthood?
Start Estate Planning Now
When you find out you’re going to be a parent, your whole life changes. Everything comes into a new perspective for you. This is a crucial planning time in your life because you are now responsible for more than just yourself.
You need to plan for contingencies such as if you are injured and are unable to work. While you are injured, who will help you manage your affairs while you manage your child’s? Is your power of attorney, executed when you were single, still valid now that you have a young family? What about your appointment of a health care representative?
The addition of one person to a family, especially a child, is often a good time to review your estate planning documents and life insurance policies. If you do not have estate plan documents, this is a very good time to get your affairs in order. The time is now to plan for unexpected complications.
With important documents like powers of attorney, designation of a guardian, appointments of a health care representative, the addition of a family member is the time to consider them.
With life insurance, you should obtain enough coverage that will cover your biggest debts and provide for your family for at least several years should something happen to you. Consider whether the benefit is enough to pay off all your liabilities to leave your loved ones without that worry. Attorney Brian S. Karpe can help you draft a life insurance trust which works concurrently with a life insurance policy. It places the policy in the trust making the trust the beneficiary further protecting you and potentially avoiding estate tax on the amount of the benefit.
Choose A Guardian for Your Child
Another very important step you can take is to choose a guardian for your child should something happen to you. This is especially true if you are a single parent. If you know you would want a family member to care for your child after you pass, you can make this known in writing. This will protect you and your child in the future should something happen to you.
No one likes to think about negative possibilities but planning for every possible contingency can help give you peace of mind. In Connecticut, when a guardian is not chosen by the parents in advance, the probate court will assign a guardian to the child, which may not be who you would choose. This could be a family member but not always.
The court may also assign a conservator to the child to manage their finances especially if a minor child has inherited substantial assets, i.e. your assets that you wanted to leave to your child. Even if you do not have trusted relatives that are willing to become a guardian in the event of your untimely death, consider asking a reliable friend. When you do make a selection, explain to the potential guardian the responsibilities involved. In addition, you can list specific provisions about how you wish your child to be raised. Also, consider updating your will and trust to reflect the addition of your new family member and how you would want your assets to be distributed.
Call Canton Attorney Brian S. Karpe Today
If you are a new parent to a baby or you recently adopted a child, you should seriously consider reviewing your estate planning documents. Considering guardianship and life insurance documentation, including updating your will to reflect the new member of your family is crucial. Don’t hesitate to reach out to skilled Canton estate planning attorney Brian S. Karpe for help today.