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Estate Planning for New Parents

For many families, estate planning is one of the most overdue items on the to-do list.  This is not surprising; none of us like to think about the types of situations that would require the use of estate planning documents.  However, if you have recently welcomed a new baby into your family and haven’t yet created your estate plan, it is time to do so.


What is an Estate Plan?

Typically, an estate plan is a collection of legal documents developed with the help of a trusted and qualified estate planning attorney.  These documents outline your wishes for the distribution of your assets as well as designate who will be responsible for your dependents in the event of your death.  Just like life insurance, your estate plan is not for you, but for your loved ones in case something happens to you.

If you are a parent and do not have an estate plan, you are putting your children at risk of not receiving the care and support they need if you were to pass away unexpectedly.


Make an Estate Plan for Your Children?

 Your children will be the most important considerations for your estate plan.  You will need to determine who you want to care for them if you and your spouse pass away before they reach adulthood.  The care of your children can be designated to more than one person: your estate plan allows you to name an individual or family to manage your children’s financial affairs (named the Guardian of the Estate) and another person or family to raise your children (acting as Guardian of the Person).

Making decisions about who will care for your minor children if you are no longer around to do so yourself can lead to some very emotional discussions.  Resentment can surface if certain family members are offended that they weren’t chosen to be guardian.  Be sure to take plenty of time to think about your options and feelings.  Also, take time to consider how you would like some of the non-legal aspects of guardianship to be handled.  For example, ensuring that your other family members would be comfortable visiting your children once they are under the care of the appointed guardian(s).

Guardianship should not be a surprise to anyone involved.  Ensure that the individual(s) who you select as guardian(s) are willing participants in your plan and that your other family members are aware of the decision.


Our Guardianship Lawyers in Pittsburgh Can Help

If you are a new parent and don’t have an estate plan, we can help.  To discuss your specific needs and to find out how our estate planning attorneys can help you, please call us at Fingeret Law at 412-254-8533 or contact us online.