You may have planned for the birth of your child for some time. The excitement of expecting to bring a new life into the world likely had you considering every aspect of his or her future and what your child would be like. This preparation undoubtedly helped you get ready for the baby’s arrival, and while your nerves were likely not put completely at ease, you may have felt more confident that you were ready to welcome your child into a loving home.
Now that your child has arrived, you may feel mixed emotions with joy and worry swirling together. You may even consider worst-case scenarios in which you and your spouse cannot care for your child. While this thought may seem distressing, it is a reality that could befall anyone. One upside to such a possibility is that you can plan for such an event.
Estate planning for your child
As a new parent, estate planning is especially important. You may not have fully considered its benefits before or possibly even thought that you could wait to create a plan until you reached an older age. However, you now have the need to make arrangements for the care of your child in the event that you and the other parent cannot perform your parental duties either due to death or incapacitation. Various estate planning tools can help make sure that your child’s care will align with your desires.
Choosing a guardian
The main concern you will likely have undoubtedly revolves around the person who will act as your child’s guardian. While this person will never be able to fully fill your shoes as a biological parent, he or she can still provide the love and care you want your child to have throughout life. You can appoint a guardian in your will. However, you may want to keep in mind that the court could overrule your decision if your candidate does not seem fit for the role.
Appointing a trustee
Your child will also need someone to handle important financial affairs in the event of your passing. By appointing a trustee, you put someone in charge that you feel has the responsible nature and knowledge to make sure that bills are paid and taxes are filed. The trustee could also remain active beyond the point when your child reaches the age of majority. Instead, the trustee acts until the child becomes financially responsible.
Making plans that involve thinking about your own death and the inability to care for your child can be tough. However, creating an estate plan can act as an important gift to your child.