There are several reasons that parents typically want to put together an estate plan as soon as they learn they will be responsible for a child’s welfare. Why is early estate planning so important for those bringing new life into this world?
Parents awaiting the birth of their baby will likely think about the future they will share with that child and all the lovely milestones that they will achieve together. For a very small percentage of expectant parents, those dreams will not become a reality because they will pass away while the child is still very young.
Selecting a guardian
Parents can protect their children against the risk of foster care by choosing a guardian and designating authority to them in their estate planning paperwork. A guardian can fulfill a parental role, and taking the time to choose a guardian can make a big difference for a child who has just experienced a very traumatic loss.
Providing resources for a child
Parents who die early in life won’t be able to develop their careers fully and provide indefinitely for their children’s needs as they might aspire to do. Those that acknowledge that their children will require financial resources should pass away in the near future will be able to put plans in place to provide for their children. From acquiring life insurance to putting together a trust so that some assets will remain untouched when a child turns 18, there are many steps parents can take proactively to protect the future financial interests of their children.
Providing guidance in the wake of tragedy
If someone ends up incapacitated after a car crash, their estate planning paperwork can provide their children and spouse with information about their medical wishes, ranging from life support preferences to whether they want to make an anatomical gift. The estate planning process can be an emotional one, but it will give parents peace of mind and provide important forms of protection for the children that will soon join their families.
Understanding the benefits of estate planning early when developing a family may allow parents to maximize the protection that their children are in a position to benefit from as a result of their efforts.