Estate Planning For New Parents And Grandparents
Your family is growing by one and you are finally bringing your bundle of joy home. You already had to add your new baby to your health insurance plan, apply for their social security card and obtain a birth certificate. You also had to find a good pediatrician and navigate medical bills and unexpected expenses, so now you can relax, right? Well, when you start a new family, it is a good time to think about end of life planning, drafting a will and designating a guardian for your child. If you recently became a grandparent, now might also be a good time to review your will and add a provision for your new grandchild. Establishing a guardianship for minor children can be designated in your will, or you can prepare additional paperwork to provide specific instructions.
Assigning a Guardian
All minor children must have a guardian. In the event that parents do not nominate a guardian in their end- of- life documents, and no living relatives are present, the court will assign a guardian or ward to the child. In the meantime, the child may be placed in foster care on a temporary basis. This process is understandably traumatic. Even if you do not have extended relatives that are willing to become a guardian in the event of your untimely death, consider asking a trusted friend. When you do make a selection, explain to the potential guardian the responsibilities involved.
In Florida, if the individual you selected in your estate planning documents or will is unable or unwilling to serve, the court will appoint a guardian. Other family members can also petition the court to serve as a guardian on your child’s behalf. With guardianship established in your will, there is no question as to whether you wish to become your child’s guardian, and you also have the option to designate an alternate. You may also explicitly state individuals in your family who you absolutely do not want to serve in the event your choice cannot. Finally, you can assert specific desires about how you wish your child to be raised, what school you would want them to attend, and how finances should be handled. You want to ensure that your child’s needs will be met, and end of life planning can provide assurance that your child is well cared for.
Think about Life Insurance
It is never the wrong time to think about purchasing life insurance. Often young, healthy people put it off because thinking about your own death can be heavy or unpleasant. Or people assume that by the time they do pass away, they will have enough saved up in investment accounts or retirement funds that their loved ones or dependents won’t need to redeem a life insurance policy. But no one can predict the future. Life insurance is something you hope you won’t need to cash in, but is there for your family when they need it. In the event you don’t prepare estate planning documents, life insurance is also exempt from probate.
Call Us Today for Help
If you recently became a parent to a newborn or are the parent of a tween or teenager, you may want to consider appointing a guardian for your minor child. No one can predict an emergency or tragic event, but it is an unfortunate reality for some families. Preparing guardianship and end-of-life planning documents today will give you peace of mind and security. Call our estate planning attorneys at Millhorn Elder Law Planning Group today to discuss your options.