• We Just Had a Baby-Now What?
  • November 9, 2016 | Author: Dustin H. Noble
  • Law Firm: Hopkins Huebner P.C. - Des Moines Office
  • If you recently brought a baby into the world, you likely spent countless hours researching baby products, preparing a nursery, and preparing yourselves for your new bundle of joy. How do I know this? My wife and I are expecting our first child, and we are immersed in the preparation stage. An item that may have gotten pushed to the back of your list, or didn’t make the list at all, is how your new baby impacts your estate plans, specifically, your will, if one exists.

    Didn’t have a will previously? No need to feel like you dropped the ball. For many young people starting out, a will may not be necessary depending on your financial situation and your desires if anything were to happen to you. However, once your new baby enters the picture, that is no longer the case. For parents with minor children, one of the most important aspects a will should address is who will be named as guardian, the person responsible for taking care of the child(ren) if anything were to happen to both parents. Another important issue to consider is the distribution of the proceeds of your estate. Your will can provide that your assets are to be held in trust until your child reaches a certain age.

    Already have a will? Way to go. If you’ve already named a guardian in your will and have provided how and when your children are to receive proceeds from your estate, you already have important jobs done. One new question you may have now, though, is whether you need to change your will to include your newborn. With properly drafted wills, making such a change may not be absolutely necessary. In many wills, a paragraph is dedicated to naming any children you have at the time the will is signed. Typically, there is a sentence in that same paragraph that provides something along the lines of, “All references to my child/children shall refer to him/her/them and any afterborn or adopted children that I may have.” If your will has a provision similar to this, your new baby is already covered by your current will. However, some parents still choose to update their wills to ensure the names of all their children are provided, which is perfectly fine.

    With your new baby demanding a significant amount of your time and attention, make sure you find time to consider these issues and take action, if necessary.