If you have small children at home or are currently expecting a new baby, you probably have a lot on your mind. From making sure your home is safe for a baby to covering the costs of child care and medical care, there are a lot of worries for new parents.
Big-picture concerns can often take a backseat to the immediacy of issues like pregnancy health issues or a newborn with colic. Still, one of the best things that you can do as a new parent is to focus on the big picture when it comes to protecting your children. Creating an estate plan now while your children are still young can offer you numerous benefits.
Estate planning gives parents peace of mind
Bringing a new life into this world or adopting a child means accepting total responsibility for that child’s needs as they grow and mature. If anything happens to you and your spouse, the children and your family can wind up dependent on the goodwill of others or even state services.
An estate plan lets you name a guardian for your children and set aside assets for them. You can even create a trust so that you know there are still inheritance resources left when your children will turn 18. It can be a lot easier to cope with the stresses of parental responsibility when you know your child will have someone to provide for them if anything happens to you.
Estate planning can put you on a path for smart retirement planning
A big part of estate planning involves reviewing your assets and debts carefully. You may need to purchase or increase life insurance. You also may have to make decisions about how you hold your assets or investments.
When you estate plan, the focus is on leaving enough behind to provide for your children if you die. However, getting a good idea about your current financial circumstances and likely future earning will make it easier to plan for retirement.
Estate planning gives you financial and medical support from others
In a comprehensive estate plan, you don’t just put together a last will. You may also create medical or financial power of attorney documents, draft an advance medical directive and fund a trust. You may have to confer with people that you love and trust if you hope to include them in your power of attorney or trust documents.
Tapping into those resources can help remind you of your most valuable relationships and provide you security and knowing that there are those willing to step up in the event that anything happens to you. While you can always change your estate plan as your circumstances and evolve, you cannot undo the harm of dying without one if you have minor children. Starting a plan sooner rather than later helps protect your most precious loved ones.