Your little bundle of joy has arrived and baby makes three. Your family is complete. What could be better? And then, the worry sets in. Will you be able to protect your little one? Who will take over if something happens to you? Will he get all of your assets if a tragedy happens?
You don't have to give birth to a royal heir to feel a speck of panic; an empire doesn't have to be at stake in order for you to feel the fierce need to protect your own little prince or princess.
We turned to Charley Moore, lawyer and founder of Rocket Lawyer, who says all new families need to take important steps right after their babies are born, even if mom and dad are immersed in diaper duty, photo sessions and sleepless nights:
Include Your Children in Your Will.
It is important to review and update a Will regularly. Having children, getting a divorce, getting remarried, buying a home, the death of a beneficiary and new tax laws are all reasons to update an existing Will. This ensures that your express wishes will be carried out in the event of your death.
Designate Beneficiaries and an Executor.
Beneficiaries are the people or organizations who receive property and the executor is the person in charge of making sure the property is distributed, per the instructions in the Will. Your executor should be someone you trust to carry out and follow your wishes (including the custodian for minor children in the event of your death).
Share Your Wishes (and Will) with Your Loved Ones.
It is important to inform loved ones that they are included in your Will so they are not caught off guard upon your death. Also, let them know where your Will is stored so they can access, view and carry out your plan in a timely manner. By storing your Will safely and securely on the internet, key family members have peace of mind to know exactly where to turn, saving time, money and hassle and most importantly preventing family conflicts.Also remember to keep the original copy in a safe place or with an attorney, as it’s often required to be presented during the probate process.
Make your kid a trust fund baby:
o Trusts can be a smart way to shield certain assets from the costly (and sometimes heavily taxed) probate process, though it’s important to note that wills and trusts are different documents with different purposes.
o Trusts are pretty flexible. Typically, you can include real estate, the cash in certain bank accounts, insurance policies, jewelry, and even your business assets. While a Will covers all property you own, in a trust, you must actively note what property you’re including in the trust. If you want your family home or that old Mustang you love included in your trust fund, you have to designate that.