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NC and SC Estate Planning and Elder Law Firm

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Estate Planning For New And Soon-To-Be Parents

Keeping a tiny human alive and making sure they feel just how much they are loved is one of the most stressful yet most rewarding things you will ever do. Period. End of story. It is heart-wrenching to think about what would happen to them if you weren’t there to care for them, but preparing for the worst is something all new parents should do.

Life Insurance

One of the best steps you can take to prepare for the unthinkable is to buy a life insurance policy that covers the child’s primary caretakers. If one or more of the people covered by the policy dies, the policy will pay out at whatever level was purchased. This cash will help the child’s remaining or new caretakers at a time when they are going to be under a lot of stress.

It is actually a good idea to get life insurance before you are expecting or between pregnancies because your heath plays a large role in setting your rates, and applying while you are carrying baby weight (This applies to you too, husbands! We see your sympathy pounds!) will make it appear that you are less healthy than you actually are. Rates can typically be adjusted each time a policy is renewed, so if you are already pregnant or still carrying more weight than you would like, don’t hesitate to apply for insurance now. Just remember that you should look into having your rate adjusted in the future.

Changing Beneficiaries On Financial Accounts

Many young couples are shocked to find out that they still have their parents listed as the beneficiary on some of their financial accounts years after getting married. Changing their “payable on death” designations is just not something a lot of people think about doing when there is so much else to married life that has to be figured out.

Multiply the to-do lists and stress by about a million and you will see why new parents often forget or put off adding their children (or a trust or their children’s guardian, whatever is most appropriate) to their financial accounts.

Most banks and investment companies make changing beneficiaries really easy though, so there is really no excuse for leaving things the way they are and potentially making life more difficult for your loved ones should something happen to you.

Picking Guardians

Once you are a parent, the most important part of your estate plan is the part where you put down in writing, typically in your will, who you choose to become your child’s guardian if anything should ever happen to you. Courts always try to do what is in the best interest of the child, but as a parent, you don’t have to guess at what would be in the child’s best interest. You know.

If you want one set of grandparents to have primary custody, and the other set to only get supervised visitations, say so! If you think your sibling should be the one to step into your role, make it clear.

You can separate out duties as well. You might want custody to go to one family member, but your money to go into a trust that has another family member as the trustee.

Aside from filling out the appropriate paperwork, it is also critical that you discuss your choices with your family and close friends. There will be a lot of hurt and grief if something happens to you, so you want to make sure people aren’t even more hurt when a surprising guardianship decision is announced.

Creating or Updating Your Living Will

Another key component of your estate plan that should be updated as your life circumstances change is your living will, which can also be called your health care power of attorney. This is the document where you specify who should make health care decisions for you if you are ever unable to do so on your own. You also indicate what you would do in certain circumstances so the person you designate has some guidance.

It’s Easier Than You Think

Once you get rolling on estate planning you will find that it is not as difficult as you imagine. Having a plan in place for what will happen if the unthinkable happens will actually put your mind at ease.


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Monk Law Firm, PLLC assists clients throughout Charlotte, Rock Hill, Fort Mill and the surrounding areas.



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| Phone: 803-594-4453
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| Phone: 704-369-9977

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