Have you just welcomed a new child into the world? Congratulations to the new parents. New parents are often a bundles of nerves, anxiety and stress. From day one you’re no doubt committed to providing everything possible for your little bundle of joy. By now you’ve no doubt had many trips to BabiesRUs with your trusted Groupon coupon in tow. You’re trying to provide everything possible and also prepare for as much as possible. Wills and trusts have just started to play an even greater role in your life. Take this basic advice from estate planners and get your financial house in order to welcome home the next generation.
In between saving for college and finding diapers on sale, seeking the counsel of an attorney for the preparation of a will is critical. Ask family and coworkers for recommendations of trusted family attorneys in your area. While it might be tempting to prepare a will using do it yourself software, if there is the least amount of complexity in your financial situation, the advice of an attorney is always recommended. In most states, if one parent is deceased and there are minor children in the home, the financial assets and parental responsibility will revert to the living spouse. The importance of will comes into play should a tragedy strike you and your spouse. A guardian for the children needs to be identified as well as an executor of the estate. More often than not a seasoned attorney will recommend that a trust be established and trustee appointed should something happen to the parents while children are still minors. Income from the trust would allow living expenses for the children to be covered by the guardian. A trustee will also need to be named.
While this all appears to be complex at first read, an experienced attorney can lay out a thorough plan in detail. The worst mistake to make in preparing a will, trust and estate plan is to delay the process or neglect it entirely. Best of luck to you and your new bundle of joy. You’ll sleep easier knowing your children are cared for.