If you have welcomed a new baby recently, you may worry something may happen to you or your spouse. After all, even though the average life expectancy in the U.S. is 78.8 years, many younger Americans die of cancer, heart disease, respiratory ailments, unintentional injuries and other maladies every single year.
With a comprehensive estate plan, you have a backup strategy for raising your child. You also ensure the young one in your family has the financial resources he or she needs to grow into a happy, healthy and successful adult. Here are three estate planning steps you may want to take soon after having a baby.
1. Write a will
The best thing you can do to achieve some peace of mind is probably to write a will. Not only does this document describe what happens to your assets after your death, but it can also name a guardian to care for your child in your absence.
2. Prepare a power of attorney
If an illness or injury renders you incapable of making your own medical decisions, your medical power of attorney names an agent who can make them for you. You can also execute a power of attorney for legal and financial matters to take some burden off the shoulders of your child.
3. Designate beneficiaries
Whenever the makeup of your family changes, it is a good idea to review the beneficiaries you have listed on your 401(k), IRAs and life insurance policies. If you do not add your child to the list, he or she may have a challenging time obtaining benefits.
While these simple steps may start you on the right foot, there may be other estate planning tasks you should address immediately. Ultimately, even though you may feel busier than ever after the birth of your new baby, estate planning is something you probably should not delay.