As a new parent, you may feel as if you are trying to squeeze 48 hours of work and family time into a 24-hour day, and trying to do so on minimal sleep can prove physically and emotionally taxing. Given all the new responsibilities you have recently taken on, you may not be thinking too much about the state of your estate plan, if you have one. But your life changes in many ways after becoming a parent, making creating one especially important.
Once you have your own son or daughter, you may find it beneficial to take the following steps with regard to estate planning.
Appoint a guardian
No one wants to give much thought to how your family would function in the event of an unspeakable tragedy. However, once you have children, it may bring you peace of mind to have a legal agreement in place about who would provide care for them should you, or you and your partner, be unable to do so. That way, you can ensure that your wishes are known and that whom your child will ultimately live with in your absence will not become the decision of the court.
If you have retirement accounts, life insurance policies or related assets, your beneficiary designations may change once you have a child. In most cases, you designate a beneficiary when you create these accounts, but you may want to include your son or daughter in the mix following birth.
Outline funeral and burial arrangements
Chances are, you plan to be around and able to provide for your children for a long time, but if something catastrophic happens to you or you and your partner, the responsibility of planning and paying for your funeral, burial and so on typically falls to your child. You can do your part to avoid adding to an already tough time by spelling out your wishes in an affidavit about your burial or cremation.
Taking these estate planning steps once you have a child can help you breathe easier, but they can also ensure that your child does not have to do more work than necessary once you pass.