No one likes to think about it, but tragedy can strike a young family. That’s why life insurance is important. If one parent dies, life insurance funds provide for the ongoing care of the surviving children. If both parents die, the money provides for their children through young adulthood.
In most cases, term life insurance makes the most sense for parents. It is affordable and covers children until they are adults. A whole life policy comes into play if you have a child with special needs who will require extra care through adulthood.
Also, consider establishing a trust that provides for your children if you die before they reach the age of 18. Otherwise, a court may appoint someone to manage your assets on their behalf. A trust gives you much more control. You can decide who manages your assets, how they are used for your children, and when they receive them.
Where there's a will, there’s a future for your child -- and your family
Most people see a will as important because it directs who receives your possessions and other assets. More importantly for parents, though, is that you can name a guardian for your children. This eliminates the unfortunate possibility of nasty infighting among relatives. It also means you can name someone who shares your values and is best suited for raising your children.
At the same time, if you already have a will, the addition of a child to your family means it is time to update your beneficiaries. The same goes for other accounts with beneficiaries. While your retirement accounts and life insurance policies probably name your spouse as the primary beneficiary, you need to add your children as secondary beneficiaries.
Enjoy the present by guaranteeing the future
While estate planning probably is not on the top of your “to do” list when you are caring for your new baby, it will provide for peace of mind. Tomorrow can be too late when planning for the future. Think of the mess that you will leave behind if you do not have an estate plan. Relatives battling for custody of your children and control of your assets.
A judge who never met you attempting to determine what is best for your children. Most importantly, determining the fate of your children as they are caught in the middle of a life-changing trauma.
The estate planning attorneys at Hocker & Associates, LLC, have been providing for the legal needs of families in Indiana since 1993. Janet Davis Hocker and her team have the knowledge and the resources to guide you through the legal complexities of leaving a loving legacy for your children.
Contact us today at our offices in Indianapolis and Greenwood for a free consultation.