Estate Planning Steps After Having a Baby
Cincinnati estate planning attorneys can provide invaluable help if you have just had a baby. Having a new baby is a major life change and you now have a young child whose life you are responsible for. You need to either make an estate plan if you don’t have one, since you now have a dependent, or you need to update your estate plan in order to take your new son or daughter into account.
Zimmer Law Firm can help you to understand the steps you should take when a child has come into your life. You should give us a call as soon as a baby is born or adopted into your family so we can help you with the following essential estate planning steps.
Naming a Guardian for Your Child
If something happens to you, someone will need to care for your child. It is vital for a single parent to make guardianship plans for their children because there is no guarantee that any parent will be able to stay healthy until their child is an adult. If you become incapacitated or pass away, you want to be the one who chooses your child’s guardian. Married parents, or parents with a partner who is involved in raising the child, also should make an estate plan that includes a plan for guardianship because it is possible something could happen to both parents and the child could require care.
You don’t want a custody battle to arise over who should care for your children if something happens to you, nor do you want the court to make the vitally important decision of who will raise your kids if you cannot raise them. Be sure to talk with an experienced attorney right away when you have a child so you take control over this important decision.
Making a Financial Plan to Provide for Your Child
You will need to make plans to provide for your child’s education if you don’t want your child to go into debt in order to go to college. While you may assume you’ll be there to provide for your child during his lifetime, there is also no guarantee that something will not happen to you. You should strongly consider making a plan to ensure your child is financially supported even if you become incapacitated or pass away.
Zimmer Law Firm can help you with a financial plan, including investing in a college savings account, that will allow you to provide for your child if you are able to raise your child into adulthood. We can also assist you with purchasing life insurance and making other plans to ensure your child is supported even if something happens to you.
Making Plans for Your Child’s Inheritance
If you pass away and have made plans to provide financially for your children, you need to determine how the money that you leave to your child will be managed during your son or daughter’s childhood. If you don’t make plans for how the money will be managed, the court may appoint a guardian for the funds. The guardian could be a person different than the individual you’d have preferred and the guardian may find it burdensome that the court continues to monitor how money is managed during a child’s life.
You can avoid this problem by creating a trust and naming a trustee who will have a fiduciary duty to manage the money on your child’s behalf. Creating a trust gives you the power to choose who will manage your child’s money. The creation of a trust will also allow you to have more control over when and how your child inherits. If you leave money directly to your son or daughter, you child could simply be handed a large inheritance upon his or her 18th birthday with no guidance and no strings attached. A trust allows you to prevent that from happening if you don’t want to just give your young child with a large sum of money.
Getting Help from Cincinnati Estate Planning Attorneys
Cincinnati estate planning attorneys at Zimmer Law Firm are here to provide assistance with all of these steps, and with any other key estate planning steps you will need to take that are specific to your family situation. As soon as you have had a child or as soon as your life circumstances have changed in a major way – such as after a divorce or remarriage – you should talk with an attorney to find out what type of plans you need to make.
To get help from an attorney who can work with you to make effective use of legal tools to protect your child, give us a call at 513.721.1513 today.