New parents have a lot of duties to handle that they haven’t done before. One of these is to set a plan for their child so that they know the little one is cared for if something happens to both parents. Your estate plan is the place where you will do this, so take the time to get everything set up while you can still make these decisions.

If something happens to one parent, the other parent will raise the children; however, your estate plan should name a guardian for the children. This is the person who will raise the children if you and their other parent both pass away. Because there is a chance that the named guardian might not be able to accept the duty when the time comes, you should also name a backup guardian for the children.

You can also set up provisions for the financial care of your children as part of your estate plan. You can establish trusts, set up a will, and use payable-on-death designations to do this. Be sure you name someone you trust as the trustee over the assets that should be used for the children. While you could name the guardian as trustee, naming someone else will provide a system of checks and balances to ensure the money is used as intended.

Thinking about the matters that might not directly impact the children may also be beneficial. These include things like making sure your medical care decisions and finances are taken care of if you’re incapacitated. This is done through setting up power of attorney designations. Your estate planning attorney can help you ensure that all of this is done properly, so your kids are protected if the need arises.

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