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Welcoming a child? Consider your estate planning options

Expanding your family is likely a dream that you have had for some time. Now that you are expecting a baby or are close to completing the adoption process, you may feel that excitement mounting more than ever. Of course, while thinking about bringing more life and love to your family is wonderful, you may also want to consider planning for the possibility of less-happy events.

If you have not yet created an estate plan, doing so before your child comes into your family is wise. You certainly hope that you will always have the ability to care for your child and that the future will be perfect, but unfortunately, perfection is not always attainable. Luckily, you can plan for potential hardships and at least ensure that certain scenarios will be handled more easily.

Documents to include

Like most people, when you think about estate planning, you may automatically think of a will. Creating a will is a good place to start because this document can contain a considerable amount of useful information. In particular, you can use your will to name a person to act as the guardian of your child in the event that you pass away. However, you may want to remember that the court could overrule your choice if it believes that your appointed guardian does not suit the role.

Having a will does not mean that your estate plan is complete. You could also benefit from creating "living documents." Unlike a will, these documents can provide instruction for events you may experience while still alive, such as incapacitation. These documents allow you to appoint trusted individuals to handle your medical decisions and financial affairs should you become unable to make sound decisions yourself. Making these appointments could prevent your child from ending up in a difficult position.

Don't stop there

The exact information you include in your estate plan will be unique to your family and your wishes. However, you may want to explore further planning options, like trusts and life insurance policies, that could allow you to ensure your child's well-being and that the right people will handle your estate. If you feel ready to get started on your estate plan, you may find it useful to discuss your options with an Arizona attorney who could help you understand the considerations a new parent should take when planning.

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