Wanting the best for the children in your family is an essential aspect of being a parent or grandparent. Welcoming a new family member is exciting, but it’s important not to overlook the need to update your estate plan. Asking your lawyer to draw up a will or amend an existing one can give you peace of mind and ensure your children and grandchildren are well taken care of after you’re gone.
Update Your Will
If you’re a parent, your child should be added as a beneficiary in your will. If you fail to do this, the child may be excluded from receiving the inheritance you intended. It’s especially important if you are divorced or have a blended family, as things can get tricky when there is no will or a will is not specific about how assets should be distributed.
Not only that, it’s vital to appoint a legal guardian for your minor children to ensure they are cared for by someone you trust if something unfortunate were to happen. If you’re a grandparent who wants to make sure your new grandchild is included as a beneficiary of your estate, you should update your will to reflect this as well.
Consider a Revocable Trust
It’s also a good idea to talk to your family estate planning attorney about whether a trust may be a beneficial option for the child. A revocable living trust is a legal arrangement in which you can name someone to manage assets on your beneficiary’s behalf. You can add or take out funds or property or terminate the trust while you are alive. However, when you die, the trustee will manage the assets for your child. Because trusts typically don’t have to pass through probate, this means beneficiaries will be able to have access to the funds immediately after your passing. Trusts can also provide some tax benefits and are useful tools for ensuring that money or property intended for beneficiaries isn’t mismanaged and is used according to your intentions.
Review Powers of Attorney
Both healthcare power of attorney and financial power of attorney is critical estate planning documents that protect your rights and interests while you are still alive. Although no one likes to think about what could happen if they become ill or incapacitated, having someone you trust to make medical and financial decisions when you are unable to do so not only protects you – it safeguards your children’s future.
When you have a new child, make sure your powers of attorney are up to date and that you still want the people you’ve chosen to make these decisions for you. This can save your loved ones a lot of grief and have a direct financial and emotional impact on your children or grandchildren, regardless of age. A Pennsylvania estate planning attorney can take a comprehensive look at your estate plan and advise you of the best way to protect your assets and your family’s well-being.
Do you need assistance with updating your estate plan or creating a new one? Our wills lawyers in Chester County can help.