Essential Estate Planning Tips for New Parents
Congratulations on becoming a new parent! Whether you’re adopting or giving birth, becoming a parent is an exciting and overwhelming time. You’ve thought of everything, the onesies, the diapers, the crib, but have you thought of estate planning? While becoming a parent is a happy time, it can also be a little stressful considering all the important things you need to put in place to ensure your child is safe and healthy now and in the future. Creating or updating your estate plan is one of these things. It helps you make sure your child will remain safe even if you are no longer here to look after them. At GoodTrust, we’re here to help you make sense of this daunting task so you can get back to what you love: caring for your new child.
We’ve put together an easy-to-follow 3-step list to help you get your affairs in order, plan ahead, and get peace of mind knowing your family is taken care of.
1. Getting Organized - Making sure all your important documents are in one safe place
It’s always been important to be organized but having your first child just made it so much more important. So how do you get organized? Why, a digital vault of course! Physical vaults and drawers are great but things can get lost especially with a newborn around. Having everything scanned and uploaded in one safe digital space can help you rest easy after finally getting the baby down. With our Digital Vault, you can safely store your physical and digital documents, files, and even sentimental items such as photos. Once stored, you can easily select a digital executor to handle your digital legacy should you no longer be here to do so yourself.
Here are some documents to think of when setting up your digital vault:
Social Security Cards
Life Insurance Policy
Car Insurance Policy
Get started today, here. At GoodTrust, your security is our priority which is why we use industry-leading technology to keep all of your digital assets safe and secure. Learn more about our security measures, here.
2. Buying Life Insurance
When becoming a parent, all you can think of is how to protect your baby. Buying a good life insurance is an important step in that protection plan because, while none of us want to think of the worst-case scenario, you’ll rest easy knowing your child is protected during and after your life. Need some help picking the right one? Check out Forbes and Investopedia’s 2023 best life insurance for new parents lists.
Make sure you add your Life Insurance to your Digital Vault once it's all set up to keep all your important documents in one place.
3. Creating or Updating your Estate Plan
Creating or updating your estate plan is one of the most important things you can do to ensure the ongoing safety of your family. Your estate plan will be composed of a few important documents such as a will or trust and important directives.
Creating or Updating your Will or Trust
A will or trust is the foundation of your estate plan. A will is a relatively straightforward document in which you outline how you want your children, property, and finances to be managed when you're unable to do so yourself. A trust is a little more robust and offers some additional advantages such as avoiding probate and ensuring direct passing of ownership of your property and assets from you to your chosen beneficiaries. Learn more about the difference between a will and a trust, here, to help you make an informed decision.
Naming a Guardian
Within your will or trust, you will be asked to name a guardian for your dependents, yes, your beloved child(ren). This can feel like an especially complicated task because naturally you always want to be here to take care of your child. Thinking about the worst-case scenario is scary but it is also necessary and can help you reach peace of mind knowing you’ve done everything you can to keep your child safe. A few things to consider when naming a guardian for your new child are:
Whether the courts approve
While your wishes and guidance are greatly considered in the event of your passing, the courts have the final say. Naming a guardian that best fits the court’s expectations in terms of stability and ability to provide for a minor helps add assurance that the courts will agree with you.
Picking a guardian who aligns with your beliefs and attitudes toward life is important in ensuring consistency in your child’s upbringing and making sure they will be raised in accordance with your visions.
Stability and ability
No matter how much you love someone, when choosing them as your child’s potential guardian, you need to make sure they will be capable of raising them. This means you need to think through how mentally, financially, and situationally stable they are as well as the longevity of their stability. Consider things like age, job and income, living situation, family situation, location, and any other factors that matter to you.
Remember you are not alone, reach out to your partner, family members, and friends to help you make sense of your decision-making process. Don’t worry and follow your parental intuition, you’ll make the right decision. Get more tips on how to pick a guardian for your child, here.
Advance Health Care Directive
A health care directive allows you to detail your wishes for how your help should be taken care of should you become incapacitated. It also allows you to name a healthcare proxy to make the tough decisions when you no longer can. This directly relates to your child as your health impacts your ability to care for them.
Financial Power of Attorney
Creating a financial power of attorney is an important part of any estate plan, especially a parent’s. This document allows you to designate someone to handle your financial affairs in the event that you become incapacitated. For instance, if anything happens to you and your child is still a minor, you will want someone to have access and financial say over your affairs so they may be properly managed according to your wishes and eventually pass down to your child(ren) and beneficiaries.
At GoodTrust, we are dedicated to making Estate Planning accessible and affordable for all. We make it easy and speedy so you can get back to doing what you love: living! Find peace of mind: get started today, here.