It’s easy enough to think that you do not need an estate plan if you’re in your 20s or 30s. You know that life expectancy means you’ll likely live until nearly 80 years old. This makes you feel as if you still have at least five decades to get that plan in place.
While you certainly may not need a plan for 50 years or more, if you’re a new parent, you still need to have an estate plan. Don’t just think about passing down your assets in some hypothetical future where your children are adults. Think about what would help them now.
Creating an estate plan allows you to pick a guardian
Among other things, you can use your estate plan to pick a guardian for your children. You should think about the things you value and the life you want your child to lead. If something happens to you in the near future, the guardian can help raise your children and give them a terrific life. You may want to consider things like:
- The values you have that you want to pass down to your children
- The religion that you follow
- The type of punishments you use and that you feel comfortable with
- The type of school you want your children to attend
- What the guardian’s health is like
- The guardian’s age
For instance, it may feel most natural to pick one of your own parents — your children’s grandparents — as their guardian but that may not always be wise. It can be hard for an aging parent to keep up with a young child, and an older person may not be in step with the changing times, so that can make it difficult for them to relate to teenagers.
The guardian you pick could, obviously, have a massive impact on your child’s life. Make sure you know how to get that plan in place so that you have some security for your family.