Many New Jersey residents long for the day when they will become parents. You may have had this desire for as long as you can remember, and you felt ecstatic when your little bundle of joy arrived. Like all parents, you will face difficulties while raising your child, as well as great happiness and pride. Of course, you will want to do your best to protect your child whenever possible, and in some cases, that may mean making plans for worst-case scenarios.
In particular, now that you have a child, creating an estate plan may be a top priority to you. If you have not already created a plan, getting essential documents in place could bring you some peace of mind. If you have already created a plan, you will certainly want to update your documents to include your child.
What steps should you take?
One of the biggest fears that parents have is that something will happen to them and that they will no longer be able to care for their children. Though this is certainly a worst-case scenario, it is not out of the realm of possibility, which is why it is crucial that you create a will as part of your estate plan. True, this document allows you to leave instructions for your asset distribution, but more importantly, it allows you to name a guardian for your child.
Making this appointment could avoid having family members argue over who should care for your child, and it could help prevent any delays in your child receiving immediate care from a loved one by avoiding court proceedings associated with appointing a guardian. In addition to naming a guardian, some other important planning steps include:
- Take out a life insurance policy so that your child and his or her guardian will have funds to meet needs.
- Think about setting up a trust to protect and manage your remaining assets until your child reaches the age of adulthood.
- Update any beneficiaries you have already named if you want to ensure that your child receives the assets instead.
These few steps may not seem like much, but if needed, they could ensure that you have set up care and means for your child to thrive if you cannot be there yourself to help.
Creating your plan
Though these steps are important, you may have other planning options you wish to take advantage of. Exploring the available estate planning tools and ensuring that any documents you create comply with New Jersey law could allow you to create a plan that brings you and your family some peace of mind.