When you become a new parent, you may feel like there is a lot to do to prepare for your new bundle of joy. One important task that may fly under your radar but is essential for new parents in Pennsylvania is ensuring they have a comprehensive estate plan. The following is an overview of some steps you may want to take when executing your initial estate plan.
Execute a will
In a will, you can name who you want to inherit your assets upon your death. Death may seem like a long way away, but the sad truth is that a fatal illness or injury can happen at any age. In addition, in a will you can name a guardian for your child. This is essential, as you may have a strong opinion about who you want to raise your child if you and your child’s other parent pass before the child is grown. Without a will, these important decisions will be left up to the court and you will have no say in how they go.
Ensure your beneficiary designations are up to date
You may have a life insurance policy through work, a 401(k) or other assets that allow you to name a beneficiary. Generally, people name their spouse as a beneficiary. However, you may want to include your children as secondary beneficiaries. In addition, you will want to update your beneficiaries after major life events such as a divorce, a marriage or the birth of new children.
Select a health care and financial power of attorney
There is always the possibility that you will become incapacitated during your lifetime and will be unable to make decisions on your own behalf. For example, you could fall into a coma or develop dementia. For these reasons, it is important to have a health care power of attorney and a financial power of attorney in place. The person appointed health care power of attorney will make medical decisions on your behalf if you cannot do so yourself. In the same vein, a financial power of attorney will manage your assets if you cannot do so yourself.
Learn more about what to include in your estate plan
As this shows, estate planning is important for people of any age, but especially for new parents. This post is for educational purposes only and does not contain legal advice. Those who want to learn more about estate planning in Pennsylvania are encouraged to explore our firm’s website for further information.