By: Barry E. Haimo, Esq.
August 9, 2018
Estate Plan Changes You Need to Make After Your New Baby Is Born
As any parent will assure you, your life transforms when a new baby arrives.
Your priorities change. Your schedule changes. Your shopping list expands to include diapers, mushy peas, and onesies. Your music tastes change from Rihanna to Raffi.
And as with all major life events, the arrival of a new baby requires a change in your estate plan. Just as you must update your estate plan with a new marriage, divorce, or move, you need to revisit your estate plan when you welcome a new member into the family, whether through birth or adoption.
In the excitement of welcoming a new family member, it’s easy to forget about the importance of planning for the future. To help you make proper modifications to your will for your new addition, we’ve detailed three of the most important estate plan changes you need to make after your new baby is born below.
Appoint a Guardian
No one likes confronting mortality in the midst of such a joyous occasion, but it’s important to think about who you would like to care for your child if something should happen to you. It’s vital to choose a guardian for your new baby and indicate your choice in your estate plan. Otherwise, the decision to appoint a guardian for your child could be left up to the court.
If you’ve already designated a guardian for any older children in your family, consider whether this individual will be able to care for all your kids. Otherwise, you may want to rethink the designation and update your guardian accordingly.
Set Up or Change a Revocable Living Trust
A revocable living trust, sometimes called a family trust, includes instructions for how your estate should be managed after your passing or in the event of incapacity. A trust can help you protect your new baby’s inheritance by letting you dictate who and how your assets should be managed for your kids.
With a revocable trust, you can name yourself as trustee, so you can control its assets and make changes during your lifetime. You also name a successor trustee who will take over for you after you pass or become incapacitated. In the trust, you can also specify how and at what point your assets will be distributed to your children.
With some bank accounts, retirement accounts, and life insurance policies, you are typically asked to name a beneficiary. The named beneficiaries will receive the assets within these accounts. After your baby is born, review these accounts and ensure that the proper beneficiaries are named. You may want to update your listed beneficiaries to include a new child or a trust for your new child.
Talk to Your Estate Planning Attorney
These are only a handful of the ways your estate plan may need to be updated after a new baby is born.
If you have recently welcomed a new addition to the family, are pregnant, or planning on becoming pregnant, get in touch with an estate planning attorney. Your attorney can help you navigate the often-daunting process of making changes to your estate plan, so you can focus your attentions on celebrating and spending time with your brand new family member.
Barry E. Haimo, Esq.
Strategic Planning With Purpose®
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