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You’re pregnant! Congratulations! Your world is about to become brighter and sweeter than you ever imagined. I know that you are in the process of learning a lot of new things. So, as your neighborhood Manhattan Beach guardianship lawyer, I’m hoping that in between the baby showers and reading “What to Expect,” you spend a couple of minutes reading this.

You know that you are responsible for raising your child from newborn until, well, forever. You probably have things pretty well mapped out in your mind already. But, I’m going to ask you to think about something you probably haven’t yet…

What would happen to your child if you weren’t there to raise him or her?

I know that is no fun to think about. But this little human is solely relying on you to make sure they are able to navigate life – whether you are there or not. Don’t worry – the statistics are in your favor. Chances are you will never have to execute your plan, but you do need to decide who will raise your child if you can’t, and then legally document this choice.

Here are a few things all new parents will need to consider when creating an estate plan:

  • Guardians for your child. Selecting guardians for your children is the most important aspect of estate planning for new parents. By selecting a guardian, you ensure that your child will be raised by the person YOU choose and not a court-appointed guardian. You can also avoid potential legal battles among family members for guardianship.
  • Put your child’s inheritance in trust. Leaving your estate out-right to a child is never a good idea. Most teenagers and young adults are not financially responsible enough to be entrusted with a large sum of money. By creating a trust, you can ensure that your child will inherit your estate when they reach maturity.
  • Trustees of your child’s inheritance. You will need to select someone to manage your estate while your child is still a minor. Some people select the guardian for this role, but you can select a separate trustee who will work with the guardian to make sure they have access to the funds they need for your child.

As a parent, you will do everything to protect your children. By creating an estate plan now, you can ensure that they will be safe in case you are no longer there. For more information about how estate planning can protect your new bundle of joy, contact our Manhattan Beach guardianship lawyers at (310) 782-6322.