If you are having a new baby, you should speak with an estate planning lawyer to ensure you have taken steps to protect your newest family member. A baby changes your life in many ways, including making you responsible for the care of someone who is dependent upon you for everything.
It is important when having a baby that you have a guardianship plan in case something happens to you. Otherwise, the courts may decide who will assume the care of your son or daughter. The plan will provide detailed instructions that are legally enforceable to ensure your family does not end up fighting over your child’s future. Also, it ensures your child can move to a new home in a timely manner so your child can begin to settle in during a difficult time.
In addition, it is important to plan financially for your child. If you are there to see your child grow to adulthood, you will have many expenses along the way, including potentially paying for college education. An experienced attorney can discuss with you how your financial vehicles can work with your legal planning, such as life insurance or 529 college saving plans. They will also discuss what happens in the case of creditors or lawsuits through general asset protection strategies.
Many times, an individual other than someone you may have wanted to manage assets becomes in charge and controls everything. Without estate planning, if something happens to you when you child is a minor, court action typically becomes necessary for access to funds, with ongoing court filing requirements. A qualified estate planning attorney can discuss setting up trusts to maintain flexibility, and the careful selection of a trustee, who will have a fiduciary duty to act according to your wishes. Finally, they will help you to plan for when you pass away to help to protect the nest egg that you have maintained for your family.
A qualified estate planning law firm can provide you with assistance in making smart plans for your child’s future, regardless of where life’s journey may take you. We will help provide peace of mind from the newborn to teenage years and beyond.