Becoming a parent for the first time is life-changing. From now on, you need to make decisions remembering that someone is dependent upon you. They will remain so for the next 18 years.
As hard as it may seem, you need to plan for the possibility that you might not survive those 18 years. An accident or illness could take you away without warning at any time. What would your child do then?
As a new parent, it is vital to update your estate plan, or create one, if none already exists. Your priority should be to name a guardian for your child. They are the person who will raise your child if you cannot. In most cases, this will be the other parent. However, you need to consider that something could happen to you and the other parent at the same time, leaving your child parentless.
Before appointing a guardian, discuss it with the person you want to name. They need to accept the role; you cannot just thrust it upon then. Because it is such an enormous responsibility, many new parents name two guardians for their child. One to raise the child, the other to take charge of the financial side of things until the child becomes an adult and can do so themselves. In Colorado, under 21-year-olds require a conservator if they inherit assets. Don’t forget to earmark some of your assets for the cost of bringing your child.
An attorney can help you create your estate plan and document your guardianship choice in the correct legal manner. While you will hopefully never need to use it, it allows you to enjoy parenthood, knowing your child’s future is secure.