Preparing for a new baby often means purchasing essential items like a crib, diapers, and baby clothes. You may even prepare to move to a New York residence with more space or make adjustments to your current home as your family grows. However, you may not have considered that you should make adjustments to your estate as you prepare to welcome your new bundle of joy. Here are a few estate planning tips for you and your family to keep in mind.
Create living documents
It’s important for you to have legally binding living documents to ensure your personal needs are taken care of. Living documents can include assigning a health care proxy and a power of attorney. When you have these documents in place, you ensure that someone else will be able to access the funds needed to care for your child if you become incapacitated.
Establish guardians and trustees
A guardian will serve a parental role in your child’s life. The guardian you assign will determine where your child will go to school and attend religious ceremonies. While you may have a guardian in mind, the courts will assign a guardian based on the best interests of your child.
It is very important to talk to your child’s other parent about who your child’s guardian will be. You should also speak with the people you are considering as guardians during the estate planning process to see if they are willing to assume the role.
You’ll also need to determine a trustee for your child. The trustee is the individual who will be in charge of the money you leave behind for your family. Trustees will pay bills on your child’s behalf and pay the appropriate taxes to ensure your child’s financial security. While the courts have a say in who the child’s guardian will be, a judge may not have as much authority when it comes to determining your child’s trustee.