As a new parent, taking care of your baby and catching a good night’s sleep (if possible) might be your top priorities. And during this season of your life, planning for your incapacitation or death is probably the last thing you want to think about.
However, it is necessary to plan for these contingencies – regardless of your age. As a parent, you have the responsibility to make sure your child is taken care of and provided for in your absence. So, this is the right time for you to create an estate plan.
Essential Aspects of Estate Planning for New Parents
As a new parent, this should be your topmost priority while creating an estate plan. By designating a legal guardian, you can make sure that even if something were to happen to you and your spouse, your child will be taken care of by someone you trust and raised the way you want.
The guardian you designate is authorized to take care of your child, make decisions on behalf of your child, and perform what are generally considered parental duties, which include:
- Providing food, clothing, and shelter
- Safety and protection
- Emotional support
It should be noted that in the event of your death, your child will be raised by your spouse – assuming they are healthy and of sound mind. The guardian is authorized to raise your child only under the following circumstances.
- If you and your spouse pass away at the same time.
- If they pass away shortly after you do and if your child is still a minor at that point.
- If they have a physical or mental illness that prevents them from performing the duties of a parent.
- If they have a serious alcohol or drug addiction.
- If they have a history of being abusive and cruel to your child.
- If they are convicted of a criminal offense and sentenced to prison.
- If they are unable to take care of your child due to any other reason.
It is always a good idea to name an alternate guardian for your child as well. So that if the original designee is unable or not willing to take care of your child, the alternate guardian can do so.
Life insurance is meant to provide a financial safety net for your family in the event of your untimely death. The payout from the policy can provide your spouse with the financial security they need to run the household and raise your child.
The best part is that life insurance is extremely affordable for those who are young and healthy. For example, if you are a 35-year-old non-smoker without any underlying health conditions, a 20-year term life policy with a death benefit of $500,000 will only cost you around $40 per month.
You can name your spouse as the beneficiary of your policy so that they can get the proceeds after you are gone. Alternatively, you can set up a trust and name it as the beneficiary, so that the proceeds are used to provide for your child’s needs.
Setting up a trust is undoubtedly one of the best ways to make sure your child is provided for until they become an adult. It is particularly important if you have a special needs child who might require lifelong care. Learn more about creating a trust fund in California.
Experienced Estate Planning Attorneys in La Mesa, California
If you are a new parent who wants to make sure your child is taken care of and provided for after you are gone, the attorneys at Garmo & Garmo are here to help. We have an in-depth understanding of California’s probate and estate planning laws and have over 80 years of combined experience helping clients with these matters.
We can assess your child’s needs, understand what you are trying to accomplish with your estate plan, and create a plan that suits your needs. If you already have a plan that needs to be revised and updated, we can help you do that as well.
To discuss your needs with one of our Southern California estate planning attorneys, call us today at 619-441-2500 or contact us online and schedule a free consultation.