There are a number of times when it’s appropriate to update your estate plan. One of those times is when you bring a new child into your family. Whether you’ve adopted them or they are a biological child of your own, now is a good time to address their needs in an estate plan.
With any new child in your family, the priority is to provide them with the protections they need in the case that you are incapacitated or pass away. Setting up a guardianship can help you be sure that someone will be there to take care of them if you cannot.
Guardianships for minors
Guardianships are commonly used in estate plans to protect minors who would be unable to care for themselves if a parent or guardian passed away or suffered from incapacitating injuries or illnesses. In a guardianship document, you can choose who you want to have watch over your child if you cannot do so any longer.
For example, your sibling may have a few children and be willing to take in your child if you pass away. You could assign your sibling as the guardian for your child in your estate plan.
A guardianship doesn’t come into play unless you’re incapacitated or pass away, so you don’t have to worry about that document leading to other complications in your life. Instead, think of it as a helpful tool designed to protect your children when you cannot take care of them or make your wishes known any longer.
Trusts for minors
Along with a guardianship of a minor, you might want to consider setting up a trust for your child. You can assign assets to them in this trust, including money or other belongings, so they have what they need even if they’re being cared for by another person. This is something to consider setting up with a guardianship, so you know that your child will be taken care of financially as well as physically.
Both of these updates can be beneficial for a new parent to make in an estate plan. They’re simple to do and extremely protective.