Parents have a limited timeline to get things in order after discovering that they’re expecting a child. While it may not be at the top of your mind to sit down and do some estate planning before welcoming your child, you should.
There are a few reasons that you’ll want to do this. Here are a few things to consider:
Appointing a guardian
While the hope is that you’ll continue to find yourself in good health and that you’ll be around to witness your child’s achievement of different milestones in their life, the unexpected can occur. You must identify someone that can raise your child if you couldn’t do so yourself.
Finding the right fit can be challenging. You may want to identify someone who has a similar approach to child-rearing to you and an ideal relationship with their spouse. Picking one that has similarly-aged kids and is financially mature is ideal as well. You may want to first discuss the prospect of them assuming the guardian role should the situation warrant it before appointing them to such a position.
The next step you’ll want to take once you identify the right guardian for your kids is to put how you plan to parent your child in writing. These are the instructions that your guardian will receive to guide them in raising your child per your wishes should they ever have to do so. A judge could ultimately enforce its contents in a court of law.
Setting up a trust
While you may select a guardian that is currently financially sound, the addition of your children into the mix could be economically burdensome. You can ease your prospective guardian’s financial woes by setting up a trust that they can tap into to raise your child.
You can draft trust administration instructions outlining any disbursement requirements, such as whether they can cover health costs, private school or college, for example.
It’s never too early for estate planning
There’s no better time than when there’s an important milestone fast approaching for you to draft a New York will, execute a health care proxy or power of attorney or set up a trust. An estate planning attorney can walk you through what is best for this stage of your life here in Mount Kisco.