There really is no wrong time to start the estate planning process. However, the thought of doing so first occurs for many couples shortly after having their first child. Becoming a parent involves a ton of responsibility, including attempting to meet your child’s needs and create a structure that allows them to enjoy safety and security in life. In this blog post, we’ll outline a few simple steps you can take now to begin the estate planning process as a new parent.
Purchase Life Insurance
If you don’t already have a life insurance policy, a great time to start shopping for one is when you enter the world of parenthood. In the event of a tragedy involving either parent, life insurance can step in to ensure stability for the surviving spouse and children. If both parents are lost, life insurance can even extend through college for surviving children. Life insurance premiums are generally affordable, and they can provide a major safety net in the unfortunate event that they need to be utilized. That’s why in most cases, it makes sense to opt in.
Make a Will and Include a Guardian
We understand that getting into the details and assigning beneficiaries for your possessions may not be appealing at a younger age. This is something you can focus on later at life at a more appropriate time if you prefer. For new parents, the big draw for creating a will is to name a guardian to designate an individual who is responsible for raising your children if you become unable to do so. Naming a guardian allows you to choose someone you trust for this critical task and will keep the burden of deciding off your family member’s shoulders.
At the very minimum, you will also want to update beneficiaries for your 401k/ IRA and life insurance to include both your spouse and your children.
Optional: Set Up a Trust
For those that want maximum control over the dispersal of their assets after their passing, we recommend setting up a trust. Doing so will prevent your child from being unable to access assets until they are 18 and receiving a lump sum of funds once they become an adult. Unlike a will, a trust allows access to funds without court intervention or the probate process. As such, you can designate an individual to manage your trust and be in immediate control of how your children should be taken care of after your passing.
Contact Mobley & Brown, LLP for Help Starting Your Estate Planning
If you are searching for an estate planning and family law attorney in Maryland and unsure where to turn, contact Mobley and Brown, LLP today. Our experienced legal team will work with you to meet your needs. Call us now at (410) 385-0398.