Planning for an Expanding Family

A major focus of Estate Planning is preparing for death. But what about when your family expands? With our new addition on the way, this is a topic that is on our minds….and we are taking the appropriate planning steps to prepare for our new family member. However, most parents-to-be put off planning, mistakenly thinking that they don’t need it or that it will be too expensive.

Here are some financial and legal considerations for your expanding family:

  1. Adjust your beneficiaries. You may already have life insurance, and will need to update your beneficiaries (and if you don’t have life insurance, this is an integral part of estate planning). Also, update your 401(k), IRA and other accounts with beneficiaries attached. You can always determine how these funds will be accessed by a child – such as a trust with limitations. At a minimum, update your beneficiaries!
  2. Choose your guardian(s). What would happen with your children if you were no longer here? This is a difficult question for some parents to answer. But wouldn’t you rather decide than have a Judge make the call?
  3. Draw up estate planning documents. You have more assets than you realize. Maybe all you need is a simple will. Perhaps your estate is better suited for a trust. Or, maybe you just need to sit down with a professional to talk you through your planning. No matter what you think your needs are, set up a consultation BEFORE your family expands.
  4. Financial concerns. There is a lot of crossover between estate planning and retirement planning, budgeting, and insurance. Do you have adequate life insurance? How are you going to continue to fund your retirement? Do your assets cause taxation concerns? Working with a professional who has access to a network of professionals in various fields is crucial to comprehensive planning.
  5. Have a plan and execute. Nobody likes to think about death. Most people do not like to talk about money. But, it does you, your family, and your new addition a huge disservice by procrastinating. When you put off planning until after the baby is born, do you really think you want to make the time to sit down with a lawyer? No, you won’t. And, next thing you know, years have passed and you still haven’t put together a plan

At Shulman Law, we offer comprehensive estate planning services, as well as review and updates of your current estate plan. Contact us to set up a consultation, before you’re consumed with diapers and bottles!