It’s Baby Season – Is Your Estate Plan Ready?

It’s that time of year again – It’s Baby Time!

Whether it’s by accident or by design, July to September is the most popular time of year to have a baby. That means lots of baby showers, gender reveal parties, due dates and birth announcements, and of course, birthdays! In the midst of all this baby fever, it’s time to put down the baby, diapers, and bottles and pick up a pen. One of the most important things you can do as a parent is planning for when you are not around to be a parent. It’s time to talk about your estate plan.

Importation Questions to Ask Yourself

Who is going to act as the guardian for your child if you pass on? Without your input, your family may fight it out or your child could go to foster care.

When is your baby going to have access to your assets? Missouri law by default puts your assets into your child’s hands at age 18.

Who is going to look after your assets in the interim? Better hope whoever gets this job knows what they are doing!

What sort of lifestyle is your child going to have without you? Private school or public, helicopter or free range parenting, scheduled activities or free play?

What an Estate Plan Does

An estate plan is a system of documents that sets out your plans for when you (and your spouse or partner) become incapacitated or pass on. Generally, you will use a Will to nominate a guardian for your child, and a basic Trust to administer your finances for the benefit of your child. You get to choose when your child inherits full control of your assets, who will manage the assets while he or she is growing up, and what sort of benefits and activities for your child you expect that person to use the money for.

Get a Plan in Place Now

It is normal to get bogged down in the day-to-day tasks of raising a child and delay getting an estate plan. Resist the temptation to put this off for a future date when things will be “less busy” or you have “more money.” With children, none of these things will ever occur until they are grown and gone. Get a plan in place right away.