Welcoming your first child into the world is an exciting time. You and your spouse have waited nine long months to meet this special human being. Then those first few weeks after your baby arrives are a bit of blur, between feeding your newborn, changing diapers and trying to get some sleep.
One thing you may neglect to deal with, but you should, is creating a will after your child is born. Creating a will is an important part of becoming a parent because you want to have a plan in place if you were to pass away suddenly. You want to ensure your child will be cared for in a tragic situation.
The advantages of creating a will shortly after you become a parent include the following:
- You can name a guardian for your child. You can choose someone who you believe will raise your child with the same values as you would and who would take care of your child as you would. Without a will, the state will decide who becomes your child’s guardian.
- You can designate your child as a beneficiary of your assets or set up a trust to provide for your child.
- You can establish a power of attorney. You can select someone who can manage your financial affairs if you become incapacitated.
- You can create a living will to give direction on what end-of-life care you’d like to receive in case of a terrible accident or sudden serious illness.
You also should name your child or the trust you establish for them as beneficiaries of your retirement funds and life insurance policies. You want to ensure your child receives your assets and avoid having to make your family deal with settling your estate through the courts.
You may not think about the fact that as a new parent is important. But it is – as much so setting up a nursery and learning to care for your child.