Welcoming a new baby into your life can be both exhilarating and terrifying. You already love your bundle of joy, but you may be concerned about providing for them and making sure they are protected as they grow. While your immediate concerns may be about your baby’s milestones and how to pay for daycare, one item that should not go overlooked is estate planning.
Estate planning for new parents
Yes, estate planning is important not just for those who are old, but for young parents just beginning their own families. You may think you do not have much in assets that would warrant estate planning, but this is not the case. This is because estate planning encompasses more than just a will, although a will is very important. Estate planning may also include guardianship, powers of attorney and a living will.
When you execute a will, you will dictate who is to inherit your assets and who will serve as executor of your estate. What may be even more important, however, is the fact that you can name a guardian of your child in your will. The guardian is the person who will raise your child should you and your spouse pass away before your child reaches age 18. It is likely you have strong opinions on this matter and do not want to leave it up to a judge to decide.
Incapacity and end of life care
Estate planning also addresses incapacity and end-of-life care. You can designate the persons you want to serve as power of attorney for health care and power of attorney for finances. These people will make decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated and cannot make decisions on your own. This person may be a spouse or another close relative or friend.
In addition, you will want to execute a living will. In a living will you describe what kind of end-of-life care you will receive. For example, do you want CPR performed? Do you want to be placed on a feeding tube or ventilator if you are brain dead? These decisions can be made official in a living will.
Make your wishes known
Thinking about death, especially when you are a young adult just starting out in life, may not be a pleasant topic. However, no one is guaranteed to live into old age. It is better to protect your loved ones with a well-rounded estate plan. This way, your wishes can be known and honored after you pass.