Whether you’re a recent college graduate looking to get a head start or an individual planning their retirement, there really is no wrong time to take the plunge and start creating your estate plan. Even still, there are a few major life events that may serve as a reminder to take those first few steps toward outlining your wishes. For many individuals, the first time they seriously consider creating an estate plan is when their first child is on the way. 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 to begin the estate planning process when you’re expecting.
Purchase or Update Life Insurance
If you don’t already have a life insurance policy, a great time to start shopping for one is when you’re about to 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. Life insurance premiums are generally affordable, and they can provide a major safety net in the unfortunate event that they need to be utilized.
Do you already have a life insurance plan? Now is also a great time to review it to ensure your coverage is sufficient and that your new child is listed as a beneficiary.
Make a Will
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 in life if you prefer. However, now is the perfect time to start getting your key estate planning documents up to date. Consider protecting your family’s security by reviewing or creating the following:
• Revocable Living Trust
• Health Care Powers of Attorney
• Financial Powers of Attorney
• Living wills
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. Typically, this is the most ideal way to transfer financial assets to those under the age of 18.
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 strategic control of how your children should be taken care of after your passing.
Optional: Begin a College Fund
Many life insurance policies include tuition assistance in the event that both parents pass away prior to their child’s high school graduation. However, you should still consider starting a college fund now! Consider making contributions to 529 accounts to get a head start on this very large future expense.
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.