Have you and your spouse recently welcomed the arrival of a child into your family?  With the arrival of your child comes new responsibilities and considerations for you and your spouse as parents.  We know that as new parents you have so much to do, but updating your Wisconsin estate plan is a critical task that needs to be at the top of your to-do list. You want to be sure that the new addition to your family is provided for and protected from uncertainty.

As stated above, updating your estate plan after the birth of your child is very important. So, how do you begin? First, reach out to your experienced Wisconsin estate planning attorney. He will give you guidance on what you need to do now that you have a child and want to update your existing Wisconsin estate plan. We also have a few tips to share with you as you revisit your estate plan.

You need to provide for your child’s person. One of the most critical aspects of updating your Wisconsin estate plan is designating a guardian for your child in the event that you or you and your spouse pass away or become incapacitated. This will ensure that your child will be cared for by someone you trust and who shares your values. Without a designated guardian, there could be infighting within your family and the Wisconsin court might possibly be called on to step in and decide who will assume this role, which may not align with your preferences.

You need to provide for your child’s financial future. Updating your Wisconsin estate plan allows you to provide for your child’s financial needs in the event of your incapacity or death. You can establish a trust, designate beneficiaries, and determine how your assets should be managed and distributed for the benefit of your child. This includes considering life insurance policies, savings, and investments that can contribute to the long-term financial security of your child. Most importantly, you can work with your experienced Wisconsin estate planning attorney to create a legacy for your child that will teach your child about you, your values, and what you want to impart to your child in the future.

You need to designate a trustee. When your child is a minor, you can appoint a trustee to manage your child’s assets until they reach a certain age or milestone. This ensures that their inheritance or assets are safeguarded and managed responsibly until they are mature enough to handle them. This role, if it is a part of your overall legacy goals, can continue well into the future to provide protection for all your children.

Healthcare decisions will need to be made. Updating your Wisconsin estate plan allows you to designate someone to make healthcare decisions on behalf of your child in case you are unable to do so. This includes providing instructions regarding medical treatments, therapies, and end-of-life decisions. It is important to appoint someone who understands your child’s medical needs and can advocate for their best interests.

You need to think about and provide education and special needs planning. If you have specific goals or wishes for your child’s education or if your child has special needs, updating your Wisconsin estate plan to create this part of your legacy enables you to incorporate provisions that address those needs. This may include funding a college education, creating a special needs trust, or setting aside resources for specialized therapies or services.

Remember, updating your Wisconsin estate plan after the birth of a child should be seen as an ongoing process. As your child grows, your family dynamics may change, and your priorities may shift. Regularly reviewing and updating your Wisconsin estate plan with your experienced Wisconsin estate planning attorney allows you to make adjustments as needed to ensure that your child’s needs are met and your wishes are reflected accurately. Your attorney will be able to help you navigate the legal requirements, address specific concerns, and ensure that your estate plan is comprehensive and tailored to your family’s unique needs. By taking the necessary steps to update your Wisconsin estate plan, you can provide for your child’s future and have peace of mind knowing that their well-being is protected.

We know this article may raise more questions than it answers. We want to help you protect your aging relatives. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting with attorney Alan Hougum today.