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Estate Planning for New Parents

As a parent, you only want what is best for your child.  You may have been putting off your estate planning because you don’t think you need it or that it can wait.  Or maybe you are worried that you can’t afford it right now.  Or perhaps, like most parents, you feel uncomfortable thinking about the prospect of passing away and leaving your children behind.

As a new parent, tackling your estate planning sooner rather than later will undeniably provide you with a huge sense of relief.  Enlisting the help of a trusted and experienced estate planning attorney will make the process easier and faster, giving you more time to enjoy being a parent and to spend time with the new addition to your family.

The most important thing you can do to ensure you child is taken care of by the people you want to care for them, is to create a will.  Every parent needs a will.  Your will designates who will receive your inheritance and if you pass away before your child becomes a legal adult, your will allows you to choose who is going to care for them.  Your will also allows you to choose someone to be the guardian of your property and a trustee to manage your child’s money until they become an adult.  You can choose one person to act as guardian and trustee or you can designate separate people to act in these roles.

Without a will there is no guarantee that your money and estate will be distributed according to your wishes or that your children will be taken care of by the individual you think will do the best job.  Even though Pennsylvania law ensures that a surviving spouse and children are cared for, it may not distribute your money the way you think is best.  If both you and your spouse die without a will, your ability to control future decisions is eliminated.  In effect, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania writes a will for you (the Law of Intestate Succession).  That law determines how your property will be divided.  That law does not determine what will happen to your children.  But that, too, is taken out of your control and left to others, who may or may not make the same choices you would make.  If nothing else, create your will to name a guardian for your children. Preparing your will also provides you with options on how to leave property to your child.  A custodial account or a trust fund are the most common ways to ensure property guardianship.  Choosing a trusted attorney to assist you with your estate planning will ensure that you are made aware of all the available options and how they are treated under Pennsylvania law.  This will allow you to make the most informed decisions about how to leave your property to your children.

Being a new parent is exciting!  There is no need to complicate this time in your life with worries about the future.  Plan now for peace of mind and the comfort in knowing that your children will be protected and cared for no matter what.

We can help you to create your estate plan.  To discuss your specific needs with an estate planning attorney in Pittsburgh, please call us at Fingeret Law at 412.281.8222 or contact us online.

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