The birth of a child is generally a good reason to review your estate plan. If you don’t have one already in place, becoming a parent will likely provide the incentive needed to create a will, trust or other plan documents. Doing so can help to ensure that your son or daughter’s future doesn’t depend solely on the decisions made by an Illinois judge.
Why create a will or trust?
Creating a will or trust allows you to name a guardian for your kids, leave property to your offspring and take other steps to provide for their future needs. It’s important to note that a trust takes effect as soon as it’s executed, which means that your children might also be taken care of if you become incapacitated for any reason. Furthermore, it can be used to manage property for your dependents if they have not yet reached the age of majority at the time of your death.
Review your beneficiary designations
In most cases, a retirement account, life insurance death benefit or other financial assets will go to your spouse upon your death. If you aren’t married, they will likely be transferred to another family member. However, you can also choose to designate your son or daughter as a secondary beneficiary, and it may also be possible to name your trust as the recipient of any financial resources that are meant to be used to provide for your child. An estate planning attorney may be able to help you create, review or revise such a form.
Ideally, you will review your estate plan after any type of major life event. At a minimum, it may be a good idea to review a will, trust or other documents once a year. An attorney might be able to assist in the process of doing so.