Top Essential Estate Planning Tasks to Consider When Having a New Baby

Written by Nataline Garcia, Esq.

Having a new baby is a special and exciting time for families. With that excitement also comes a new sense of responsibility and even associated stress. Now that you are responsible for another life, it is essential to plan for the future, in the event of any unforeseen circumstances arising. Below are a few of the top essential estate planning tasks to consider when you are expecting a new baby.

Revocable Living Trust: A Revocable Living Trust is a great tool for parents to provide an inheritance for their new baby without interference from courts or other time-consuming and expensive processes. The Revocable Living Trust states who will get property when the trust creator passes away, at what age is inheritance appropriate for your child, and even what type of allowable expenses the successor trustee can make on behalf of your child. If you have previously prepared a Revocable Living Trust, and are now expecting a new baby, your Revocable Living Trust can be adjusted during your lifetime at anytime, making it a flexible and versatile tool for providing for your child’s future. 

Potential Guardians: Who will take care of your new baby if something should happen to you? If you do not nominate a guardian, the court can appoint someone and it may not be your first selection of who you would want. Decide who is best suited for caring for your child, and make sure that person is up to the task. If this is a second or third child, revisit the topic with your potential guardians and ensure that the individual is prepared to now care for multiple children. If not, you may want to revise existing guardianship paperwork.

Life Insurance Policies: Life insurance is a good idea when you are married, but it is essentially a necessity when you have a child. Life insurance policies give you the security to provide your family with financial resources if anything unexpected should happen to you. Revisit your life insurance coverage amounts and confirm that your Revocable Living Trust is listed as the beneficiary.

Update Powers of Attorney, Living Will: When you have a new baby, it’s time to revisit all your estate planning documents to ensure they are up-to-date and not in need of any updating. With the new baby here, it’s time to create or update your Revocable Living Trust, Health Care Powers of Attorney, Financial Powers of Attorney, Living wills and or Wills. Now is the time to ensure your new baby is protected and cared for in your estate plan.

Designate Beneficiaries for Retirement Accounts: Make sure to name beneficiaries for retirement accounts, or to update beneficiaries when life changes occur, like a new baby. Revisit your retirement accounts, and make sure your spouse, a trust, or possibly even your children are listed as a beneficiary of your retirement account. 

Appointing Trustees for Minor Children: In the event you pass away and your child is a minor, you may want to ensure your child has financial resources available to get by, but at the same time you may want to ensure that the resources left are used responsibly. The best way to accomplish this is by the use of a Trust. To administer the trust in this scenario, you must appoint a succession of individuals who you know to be honest, responsible, and good with spending decisions who you trust to administer a trust for your minor child. Talk with this person or persons before nominating them, and make sure they understand your wishes and plans in establishing the trust.

Speaking to a professional estate planning advisor can help alleviate any stress or questions you may have in reference to planning for your new baby and your estate planning. For a free consultation please call the Law Office of Ray Garcia, P.A., at 305-227-4030 or you can send an email to legal@raygarcialaw.com