New parents in the Milwaukee area may have joyfully welcomed into the world their first child, and they naturally will want to make sure their child is always cared for. This means not just caring for the child themselves, but also planning for the child’s care should they become unable to do so due to death or incapacity. For these reasons, estate planning is important for new parents.

How to provide for your child’s care through estate planning

First, it is always a good idea to have a will and/or trust in place. This way, parents can provide for a surviving spouse or child in a manner they see fit. Without a will or trust, a person’s estate will pass on to certain heirs as dictated by Wisconsin laws of intestate succession, which may or may not be to a parent’s liking. It is important to note that since minors cannot own property, parents may want to appoint a trustee to distribute funds for the child’s care.

Second, new parents will want to determine who will fulfill the roles of guardian and trustee should the parents pass away before their child is grown. Guardians take care of the day-to-day raising of the child. The appointment of a guardian will be made based on the child’s best interests. A trustee is the person who will handle the child’s finances until the child is able to do so on his or her own.

Third, new parents will want to make sure they have a health care proxy and power of attorney. With these documents, parents can make sure that, if they become incapacitated, the person of their choice will oversee their health care and will have access to their funds to pay for the expenses associated with raising a child.

Seek help with estate planning following the birth of a new child

As this shows, new parents have a lot to consider when executing an estate plan. These are some of the most important decisions they will have to make when thinking of their child’s care. The future is uncertain, so proper planning is essential. A do-it-yourself estate plan may not be legally enforceable, as it could contain mistakes, inconsistences or omissions. This could cause a lot of headaches should parents pass away before the child is grown. For this reason, new parents will want to seek the advice of an attorney when drafting an estate plan, to ensure the final documents are legally sound.