Becoming a parent is no longer a joy reserved for the very young, as scientific advances and changing attitudes have made it easier than ever to become a late-in-life parent. While the requirements of parenthood may remain the same for both younger and older parents, the reality is that parents who start families at an older age are faced with additional responsibilities, one of which is planning an estate, so if you recently welcomed a child into the world and have questions about how to ensure that that child will be provided for in the event of your death, you should strongly consider speaking with an experienced estate planning attorney who is well-versed in the unique issues that you face.
Creating an Estate Plan
One of the most important considerations that new parents should take into account, no matter their age, is whether they have an estate plan in place. If they do, then that plan will undoubtedly need to be amended to account for the birth or adoption of their new child. However, if a parent has yet to create an estate plan at all, then following the birth of a child is one of the best times to begin doing so.
Naming a Guardian
Whether a parent has an estate plan in place or is creating one from scratch, he or she should consider naming a guardian for his or her child in a will. This individual will take over childcare responsibilities in the event that the testator and his or her partner are unable to raise the child themselves, due to death or incapacitation. While none of us like to think about the possibility of not being there for our children’s lives, designating a guardian is one of the best ways to ensure that our families are provided for in the event of tragedy. Those who fail to take this step, risk having the decision put in the hands of a judge, and while his or her final decision may be a family member, it is not always the relative that the child’s parents would have wished.
It is also important to take financial considerations into account when planning an estate, especially for those with young children. For instance, many late-in-life parents choose to designate beneficiaries for their retirement accounts, which ensures that in the event of that person’s death, the funds in the account will go directly to the beneficiary. Taking this step ensures that a testator’s children are financially provided for and saves them the hassle and expense of attending probate court proceedings. Similarly, creating a trust can help give parents peace of mind, as any assets that are set aside in the trust will remain there until the child reaches a certain age, at which point, he or she can use them to pursue a higher education, or purchase a home.
Contact an Experienced Estate Planning Attorney Today
If you recently welcomed a child into your family, you should consider creating or amending your estate plan. Please contact one of the dedicated estate planning attorneys at Orlowsky & Wilson, Ltd. Attorneys at Law by calling 847-325-5559 to learn more about how to best provide for your family’s future.