Updating Your Estate Plan After the Birth of Your Child

Who should I name as a guardian for my minor child?

Welcoming a child into your home is a life-changing experience.  With the birth or adoption of a child, your goals, life views, and focus will forever alter.  From the moment you look into your new child’s eyes, you know you will do anything to protect him or her from the challenges life may present.  For most, this will require making critical updates to your estate plan.  Our Irvine, California estate planning lawyers explore what changes you should make to your estate plan after the birth or adoption of a new child below.

Incorporating Your Child into Your Estate Plan

If you already have an estate plan in place, chances are your current will, trust, or other estate planning documents do not adequately protect your new child.  An estate plan is necessary for the nomination of a guardian for your minor child in case you and your spouse both pass away. It should also provide financial protections for your child.  Most parents will want to update their estate plan to ensure their child is included by name and protected on all fronts should the worst happen and you pass away unexpectedly.

Selecting a Guardian

One of the most important tasks a new parent will have is selecting a guardian for their minor child.  Sadly, accidents can happen to any of us on any given day.  Should you and your spouse both pass away, you will want to ensure you have planned for your child’s care.  Without a Last Will and Testament that names a guardian, the court will be forced to select a guardian for your children.  This could lead to disputes among grandparents or other relatives, and potentially the selection of someone whom you would not have chosen.
Your Will should name a guardian whom you feel will best care and nurture for your child in your absence.  Parents often select someone with similar values and ideals, and whom the child is or will know well.  New parents should consider the age, ability, and financial well-being of the potential guardian, as this could influence the selection process.

Providing Financial Security

Along with naming a guardian for your new baby, you will want to update your estate plan to provide for your child’s financial security.  With a trust, you can impose set restrictions on when your child would receive the assets within it.  You can name a trustee to manage the funds while your child is a minor.  Trusts allow for many options when it comes to financial protections for your child.  Contact our estate planning lawyers for more information on your estate planning needs post-baby today.

Brian Chew, the managing partner of OC Wills & Trust Attorneys, has extensive experience in the areas of estate planning, asset protection planning, business succession planning, long-term care planning, and veterans’ benefits. By devoting his practice to estate planning matters, he has founded a firm that strives to provide exceptional service to their clients by working closely with individuals and their families to create comprehensive and customized estate plans. For the past twenty five years, Brian has served thousands of clients in the matters of estate planning, wills and trusts. If you have any questions about this article, you can reach Brian Chew here.