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3 critical estate planning tips for new parents

Welcoming a new baby into your family is a joyous and overwhelming experience. Between sleepless nights and figuring out feeding schedules, most new parents have more than enough to think about during those first few months.

However, when things start to normalize, parents should consider what they can do to protect their new baby now and far into the future. These measures include creating an estate plan. Below are three tips for new parents who are starting to explore their estate planning options.

Tip #1: Know who will care for your baby

No parent wants to think about someone else caring for their new baby. But as uncomfortable as it may be, parents should consider naming a guardian to care for their child.

A guardian cares for a child and makes sure his or her needs are met. This person can instill in your child the values that are important to you and could be managing his or her money, academic future and medical care.

Tip #2: Consider the burden you may be placing on your child

You care for your baby today. However, as he or she gets older, your child could be the one taking care of you.

Consider the toll this could take on your child if you do not prepare accordingly. Providing care for an elderly parent - or deciding to place a parent in a care facility - costs money and can be time-consuming, not to mention emotionally upsetting.

To make this easier, start saving money or consider setting up a trust to preserve assets for your children. Having a plan in place can be an enormous relief for your family.

Tip #3: Remember that your child relies on you

Becoming a parent means that an entirely new person relies on you for everything, from food and clothing to love and guidance. Remember this when it comes to estate planning.

Because your child relies on you, make some difficult decisions and designations, so they do not have to. Get life insurance; designate beneficiaries; assign power of attorney to someone you trust to make the right decisions on your behalf; complete a living will to specify your end-of-life decisions.

Taking these tips into consideration can help new parents create a comprehensive, individualized estate plan that protects their child now and in the future.

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