With the responsibilities and commitments of everyday life, many people put off estate planning. In fact, AARP recently reported that approximately 60% of Americans do not have a will.
While all adults need to prepare for end-of-life matters, estate planning is even more essential if you are a new parent. Here are a few key factors you should address in your estate documents to properly provide for your children.
Perhaps the most important reason to undertake estate planning is to determine who will care for your child after you pass. You should also consider appointing a power of attorney and healthcare proxy to make decisions should you become incapacitated. This ensures that someone you trust will direct your child’s care.
Your estate documents are where you will lay out the provisions for when your child will inherit your assets. You may want to place conditions on financial resources. For example, you can mandate that a portion of funds go towards education.
Special needs considerations
If you are the parent of a special needs child, you will have additional concerns to plan for in your estate documents. You will want to determine the best way to provide for your child without jeopardizing their eligibility for benefits.
If you do not create a will or trust, state laws and courts will determine these matters after you pass, which could lead to decisions that you would not approve of. Estate planning ensures that your preferences will determine the care of your child.