There are a lot of steps new Ohio parents take when welcoming a new bundle of joy into their home. One of the less thought-about steps is estate planning.
It might seem like a grim topic for new parents to talk about, but it’s important to make sure there are plans in place for your children should something happen.
What to include in your estate plan?
First, you’ll want to make sure that your new child is listed as a beneficiary or next of kin in all of your estate planning documents. These sections of your estate plan should be updated every time there’s a substantial change to your family makeup or status.
Next, you’ll want to address who will serve as guardian and trustee for your children should something happen to you before they’re 18 years old. The guardian is who has primary custody of the child, and the trustee is who gets to make financial decisions on behalf of the child.
Oftentimes the guardian and trustee will be the same person. Most parents might be inclined to pick a family member, such as an aunt or uncle, or even grandparents.
What else should you update after having a child?
It’s important to make sure your living documents are all up to date after the addition of a child. These documents state who gets the power of attorney if you or your spouse become incapable of making decisions.
After you’ve updated all the documents, it’s important to remember to keep them updated. Set reminders on your phone calendar or make sure to update it with every birthday.
It can be hard to focus on estate planning when you’re starting a family. But having an updated estate plan that addresses who will take care of your children should the worst happen is important to giving you peace of mind and keeping your children safe.