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3 points new mothers should know about estate plans

Now that you have a child, you need to make sure that everything is in place for your child to be taken care of if something happens to you. Your estate plan is one thing that you have to get in order. You shouldn’t think that estate planning is a waste of time or that you only need to do this if you have considerable assets. Shockingly, 25 percent of people who are 25 to 34 don’t have an estate plan in place.

This could be devastating for your young family if something happens to you or your husband. Instead, these are three things that all new parents should make sure that they include in an estate plan.

Guardianship plans

If something happens to you and your husband, someone will have to care for your children. You probably don’t want them to have to go into the state’s custody if the unthinkable happens. For this reason, you should make sure that you have a primary guardian and a backup guardian listed in your estate plan. Be sure to jot down your reasoning for each person so that the court can take that information into account if there is any question about your choice. The people you choose to care for your child should able to handle the cost and responsibility of raising your child in your absence.

A concise will

Even if you don’t have a lot of assets, you should make sure that you have a concise will. This will is the backbone of your estate plan. As you divvy up the assets that you do have, be sure to think about the cost of raising your children and the sentimental value of the items that you do have and decide where they should go.

Even if you had a will drawn up before your child was born, you need to reevaluate it with your child in mind and update the will accordingly. While it isn’t part of the will, you should take this time to make sure that your life insurance is up-to-date. Check the beneficiaries and find out if a life insurance trust is right for your situation.

Powers of attorney

The powers of attorney designations are important for new parents. You should determine whom you trust to handle your financial affairs if you are unable to do so on your own. Your husband might be your first choice, but you should find out how to set up something in case you and he are both incapacitated. This could be a way for you to provide money for your children in the short-term if something happens to you. It is also crucial for you to think about a health care power of attorney so that someone is legally able to make medical decisions for you.

Don’t think that you have time to get your affairs in order. An accident can happen at any second, so take time to get everything situated right away.

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