If you are young, you may not have thought about estate planning because you think you have a long time to live, or you may not have many assets to worry about. However, once a child comes along, things change.
It is imperative that you begin making a plan for the future. Although you can expand the plan as life progresses, there are certain basics you should consider once you are a parent.
Choose a guardian
One of the first things you should do is choose a guardian for your child, which is the person who will raise the child in the event both of you die before the child turns 18. It is not an easy thing to think about, but FindLaw discusses that having a plan in place makes things much less disruptive for the child if the unexpected occurs.
When deciding on a guardian, some important considerations to think about include:
- Someone with the attributes and skills related to raising a child
- Someone with shared values
- Someone with whom the child feels comfortable
- Someone who can financially afford to raise the child
It is also a good idea to name a backup guardian.
Write a will
Consumer Reports states that this is also the time to write a will if you have not already done so. This identifies your assets and names the beneficiaries of them. You will also name an executor, who is the person who makes sure to carry out the instructions of the will.
You should also make sure that you have beneficiaries for your financial accounts. If you have a retirement plan, make sure you name who inherits the funds upon your death. If you do not have a life insurance policy, now is the time to consider one, especially if your spouse does not make much money. This money would help prevent your family from struggling financially in the event you died.