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Changing Your Estate Plan if You Have a Child?

Changing Your Estate Plan if You Have a Child?

October 28, 2021 By The Sterling Law Group

Your estate plan changes could come with exciting moments like a new addition to your family.  Speak with an estate planning law firm if you need to create or update your documents for a new child. 

Do You Have an Estate Plan?

It is advisable to have a living trust and will even before your child is born. A will prevents others, including California courts, from making decisions about how your assets will be shared upon your death. Rather, if you have a will, you get to make those decisions yourself prior to your death.

A living trust names a trustee who takes your place in making decisions about your property before and after your death. This can help your family members avoid probate regarding most of your property. It is imperative that you have such documents in place before your child is born or soon thereafter.

The Benefits of Having a Will and a Living Trust

If you have a will that directs how your children will inherit your property, then you must add the new baby to your will. You can also set up a trust for your child, or if you have more than one child, you can address all of them in your trust. Your will and living trust work together to distribute your property to your child or children. Directed and in accordance with the rules and laws on trusts in California.

Guardianship of a Minor Child

In some cases, it may become necessary for decisions affecting the welfare of your child to be made by someone other than yourself, and this is often the case if you become incapacitated or pass away, and the child’s other parent is not available either. In that situation, then looking ahead, it is essential that you document a guardianship request for your child. You can have one guardian for your child’s care, one for their finances, or the same one for both. 

Add a New Child to Life Insurance and Other Accounts

You might want to add your new child as a beneficiary to any applicable family assets and protections. For example, you can modify your financial accounts to reflect the new addition to your family. All assets you own, such as life insurance policies and 401(k) plans, provide for naming primary and secondary beneficiaries. Although your spouse will typically be your primary beneficiary, it is advisable to have your child named as the secondary beneficiary in the event your spouse also is deceased. 

Consult With a Trusts and Estates Attorney

Don’t let this moment of excitement and joy make you overlook important changes you need to make to your estate plan because of your newborn baby. Get in touch with The Sterling Law Group by contacting our legal team today to help you make the changes.

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