Houser Firm

Why having a child is the ideal time to start estate planning

On Behalf of | Jun 1, 2022 | Estate Planning

You will be extremely busy if you have just had your first child. When you are also holding down high-level jobs or running a business, the last thing you might want is to make extra work for yourselves by looking at estate planning. Yet, you must do. Here is why:

It’s no longer just about you

As adults, you can look after yourselves. If one of you dies, an estate plan can do a lot to help the other, but they can still go out and earn their own way. The same is not true for your newborn child. They are utterly dependent on you and will be for years to come.

You need a guardian

If something dreadful happens to you before your child turns 18, hopefully, the other parent will still be around to care for the child. Yet you cannot know that, so you must put a guardian in place to care for your child if you both go.

Your child will need money

Naming a guardian is one thing, but you cannot expect them to pay to raise your child. Your child cannot inherit before they turn 18, so consider setting up a trust to hold the money for them.

You can decide on the rules you want. Perhaps you dictate that the trustee will pass a monthly amount to the guardian. Or maybe you would have it release a set amount to the guardian if you die, with the trustee making payments directly to schools and colleges.

Ideally, you will already have an estate plan in place and only need to update it when you have your first child. If not, then it is never too late to start. Get legal help to understand your options.