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You’re a new parent: why should you think about estate planning?

When you welcome a new child into the world, end-of-life planning is probably the last thing on your mind. But in reality, it’s one of the most important things you can attend to, especially after becoming a new parent.

Life can be beautiful, precious and most of all unpredictable. When you start to seriously consider estate planning after becoming a first-time parent, you can ensure that your child will be taken care of, even if you aren’t there to do so yourself.

Where can you start?

While every person’s estate plan is unique to their situation, there are a few staple tools that new parents can benefit from including in theirs. Some of those tools might be:

  • Trusts: A trust can be a useful tool to include in your estate plan. If you and your spouse both become incapacitated or unavailable, a trustee that you personally choose will manage and look after the assets placed in the trust until your child is old enough to inherit them. This method of security ensures that your assets are in good hands while your child grows up. They can then take control of their inheritances once they come of age.
  • Guardianship: When you have young children, you want to make sure that you name someone willing and able to take care of, raise and nurture them if something happens to you. Naming a guardian is a way to ensure just that. When you take the time to pick someone who shares beliefs, morals and parenting styles similar to yours, you can rest easy knowing that your chosen candidate will raise your child how you would have raised them yourself.
  • Life insurance policies: If you don’t have life insurance already, you may want to consider getting it. Paying a life insurance premium enters you into a contract with a life insurance company. You pay the premium, and in return your life insurance funds will provide for your surviving children if you pass unexpectedly. That way, they can continue to support themselves financially, even if you’re gone.

Plan for a safe and secure future

It can be daunting and sometimes stressful to think about not being there for your child. But staying on top of your estate planning — especially after becoming a new parent — can actually lift the burden from your shoulders and make sure that you are protecting and providing for your child, even when you might not actually be there to do it in person.