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Making important estate planning decisions as a parent

Being a parent may have always been a dream of yours. You may never have anticipated being the perfect mother or father, but you did want to have at least one child to call your own and to love and raise. Parenthood can certainly be a rewarding experience, and though you hope that you will always be around to care for and help your child whenever necessary, you know that life can throw unexpected events anyone's way.

To help offset some of the more difficult issues that could arise in the event that you suffer incapacitating or fatal injuries or illness, you have decided to make important decisions ahead of time by creating an estate plan. You are wise to make this decision, and having your wishes in legally binding documents could make a considerable difference in how quickly matters move forward if an unexpected event arises.

Details to consider

Because your child or children are the most important aspect of your life, you certainly do not want them to simply be at the mercy of the court if they need a new guardian. As a result, one of your first decisions when estate planning may be to choose a person to step in as your children's guardian should the need arise. You can name this person in your will, and the court will take your designation into account.

In terms of leaving assets to your children, you may want to keep in mind that any children who have not reached the age of adulthood cannot directly inherit property. As a result, you may want to create a trust that will allow a responsible person to manage the assets until they pass on to your children, which can happen when they reach adulthood, go to college, obtain a job or at another point you stipulate in the terms of the trust.

Do not forget your needs

Though most people think of estate plans as instructions that loved ones use after someone dies, one could use the information in the plan before that point if individuals used certain documents. For example, you may want to prepare for an event that could leave you needing serious medical care and unable to make your own decisions. Appointing a power of attorney agent could better ensure that someone can make medical and financial decisions on your behalf.

Everyone's estate plan is different, and fortunately, the numerous estate planning tools available can help create unique plans that fit the needs of each person. If you feel ready to start your plan to ensure the well-being of your children and address other important matters, you may want to discuss your options with a New York attorney.

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