The estate planning playbook for new parents

Adequate time for estate planning may not exist when you’ve just had a newborn. Focusing on your baby is important, and that’s why an inheritance for your child means a great deal. Maryland families create wills, trusts and powers of attorney to ensure that children are beneficiaries of their inheritances. Once you’ve accounted for family, the remaining part of your estate plan deals with personal assets. How you manage stocks, retirement or property relates to building an estate.

Probate

Estate planning is what attorneys do to protect your estate from probate. Probate hearings are those that make your assets public. These hearings decide on how your property is divided and who gets what. If you neglect planning your estate, your assets may not go to your children or any loved one. Taking the time now to plan when your children are young can result in a solid strategy.

Guardianship

Parents who plan their estates account for guardians, being those likely to take care of their children. Just imagine what it would be like to leave that decision to your local court. Choosing a guardian now may even inspire someone. Family members or close friends are ideal candidates. The parental rights and responsibilities that guardians have include:

  • Making choices about child care and education
  • Deciding how to discipline a child
  • Naming the child in some cases
  • Consenting to medical care for the child

Powers of attorney

Incapacitation occurs when you can’t, neither by will nor power, take action on something. A power of attorney is a right assigned to someone who can, instead, act on your behalf. Authorizing a power of attorney as a parent means you give a selected person responsibility for a child. This can be in the form of child care or an emergency.

Another area to closely look at are your designated trustees. Trustees are agents who represent and manage the assets of a trust. In such a trust, the assets are intended for your children. The trustee you choose collects your insurance, finds your heirs and transfers assets to them.

FindLaw Network