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Essential estate planning steps for new parents

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If you are a first-time parent, your days may be full of feedings, snuggling and learning new processes. Sleep is more than likely hard to come by, and you may well feel as if you are going about your day in a bit of a fog.

Given everything you have going on, it makes sense that other essential tasks, such as estate planning, may fall by the wayside. As a new parent, however, it becomes more important than ever that you have certain arrangements in place with regard to your affairs, and there are some steps that are best not left until a later, less busy time. For example, as a new parent, it is highly advisable that you consider:

Establishing a trust

Once you become a parent, you would be wise to consider creating a trust that would include specific details about how and who should handle your affairs or gain access to your estate if you pass on or become incapacitated. Rather than have a court handle that duty, a trust ensures that you get to name someone you have confidence in who will see that your children receive what they need in your absence. A trust can also help your family members avoid probate, which can be a long, convoluted and costly process.

Appointing guardians

While your new son or daughter may have godparents, you also may want to consider appointing someone as legal guardian. Often, godparents do little more than hold an honorary title or enjoy close relationships with their godchildren. Conversely, making someone a legal guardian can give you peace of mind that your child will be in the care of someone you love and trust, should you not be able to care for your son or daughter yourself.

You may, too, as a new parent, want to make other estate planning decisions while you establish a trust and determine a guardian, such as deciding who you want to give power of attorney over your affairs. While these are just some of the estate planning steps new parents should consider taking, this is not an exhaustive list.

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