Texas parents feel a lot of excitement and nerves as they prepare to welcome a child into their lives. With all of the excitement comes some important but not-so-fun steps though – including planning for the worst.
Some parents consider it bad luck to estate plan after welcoming a new child. However, it’s important to include your new child in any existing or future estate plans to make sure they’re taken care of after you’re gone.
What’s the first step in setting up your estate plan?
It’s best to start with living documents. These are documents that address who gets the power of attorney if you and your spouse both become incapacitated, as well as who will get to take care of your child in the meantime.
Setting up a guardian and trustee
Many children end up in long, tedious custody battles when their parents die unexpectedly and there are no plans in place. Stating who will get custody of your child and who will act as trustee can help ease the transition for your family members and your child.
The person who gets custody – or guardianship – will decide where your kid goes to school, make health decisions for the kid, and will essentially serve as their parent after you’re gone. Most parents choose a set of grandparents or other family members, but sometimes you can choose a close family friend.
The guardian will still have to prove they’re able to take care of a child though. Sometimes the guardian will also serve as a trustee – someone who’s trusted to make financial decisions on behalf of your child.
How to set up an estate plan
Estate plans are crucial to protecting your assets and your children if something should happen. Making sure your estate plan is updated to include all of the most recent family additions and changes is the most important thing you can do after welcoming a child.