Starting a Family? 4 Key Estate Planning Decisions to Consider

Getting married and having your first child is an exciting time, but it also requires some very important decisions to be made. Considering issues such as death and disability may seem far removed, but proactive planning allows you peace of mind.

4 Key Decisions You Need to Make:

  1. Choose an executor or trustee, and if you designate your spouse, also choose a successor in the case your spouse is not able to serve. This should be someone you trust to handle your financial affairs.
  2. Choose a guardian for your child(ren).  This person will become the legal guardian (as long as the court approves it as in the best interests) should both parents die or become incapacitated. You should consult with the person to ensure they would be willing to take on such a huge responsibility and choose someone with all the resources necessary to provide the lifestyle you would want for your child(ren) in this situation. Also designate either this person or someone else to manage the inheritance your child(ren) receives.
  3. Review your life insurance policies. Make sure you have a policy in place that is adequate to cover funeral costs, debts and replacement of your income.
  4. Consider the consequences of you becoming disabled and make sure you have a Power of Attorney to cover your financial affairs and a Health Care Power of Attorney to deal with your medical and health issues. Review your disability insurance policies to make sure the income replacement is sufficient for your family’s needs.

Be sure to review your documents periodically with your estate planning attorney. For more information, consult Stouffer Legal at 443-470-3599 in the Baltimore area.