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Wills, estate planning and new parents

With a newborn child in the house, changes to familiar dynamic are inevitable. While new parents adjust to those changes, they might neglect to consider the changes this new member of the family brings to their legacy planning. Life is unpredictable, and lives can be lost in split seconds. New York parents might be wise to modify existing documents such as wills and beneficiaries and appoint guardians as soon as possible after such an event.

Choosing a guardian is a crucial step that needs careful consideration. It is essential to select a person who is not only willing and able to do it but also someone who will provide loving care and always act in the best interests of the child in the event of the death of both parents. Does this person live by the same values and standards as the parents?

Another requirement will be to make sure the will and the list of beneficiaries agree. If the will is updated to accommodate the new child but this is not reflected in the beneficiaries, the child may not receive an intended inheritance. The goal with drafting a will is for it to come into effect upon the death of the testator, and because this could happen when the child is all grown up, parents might be wise to consider the possibility of that child being married by the time the parents die. In such a case, would they want the child's spouse to share in the inheritance?

As with any other of life's changes, occasional reviews of wills, trusts, powers of attorney, health care proxies and insurance beneficiaries are essential to ensure they all remain current. While some New York residents might find the prospect daunting, help is available. An experienced estate planning attorney can provide the necessary support and guidance after the birth of a child and any other changes in the lives of parents.

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