Creating or updating an estate plan when you’re a new parent is important to ensure your child will have their needs met if something were to happen to you. California has laws surrounding wills and trusts that you should check before creating your estate plan.
What makes a will valid?
California estate planning law stipulates that a person must be at least 18 years old and of sound mind to write a will. You also need at least two disinterested witnesses to observe you sign the will or acknowledge its legitimacy. Your witnesses must also sign the will. Disinterested means that the witness doesn’t receive financial benefits from your estate plan. You have the option of notarizing your will in California to help protect it from claims that it isn’t valid. If you plan to write out your estate plan by hand, then it can only be in your handwriting and must include the date.
Life insurance allows your child and your spouse to continue living the same quality of life after you die. When you set up a life insurance policy, you must name all of the beneficiaries, as it won’t automatically cover your child or spouse. Life insurance could cover costs of education, living expenses and mortgage payments.
Assign a guardian
You should specify who you want to serve as guardian of your kids if both you and their other parent die. Before you write down a name for your guardian, discuss it with them to check that they’re willing to take on the responsibility. You should also include your child’s other parent in the decision-making.
Setting your child up for success includes having an estate plan. You should consider buying life insurance or establishing a trust to help take care of your child. These assets are part of an estate plan.