Diapers, bottles and wills -- new parents and estate planning

Most new parents have a dozen things to worry about. From feedings to sleeping habits to what may seem like endless hours of crying, it might not feel as if there is much time for anything else. However, Lake Charles parents might want to make room for at least one more thing -- estate planning.

One of the most important things a parent can do for his or her child is to create a will and designate a guardian. A guardian is the person who will raise a minor child should the parents both pass away. Not only can parents choose a guardian who they think will raise their child with similar values, but doing so can prevent family members from fighting about who will raise the child.

Parents should also consider buying life insurance. Should one or both parents pass away, the funds from the life insurance will provide continued financial support. Depending on a child's needs -- such as college tuition or special needs -- parents can decide whether a term or whole life policy is most appropriate.

To better manage the money from a life insurance policy or a parent's estate, it can also be helpful to set up a trust. Minor children cannot directly control their inheritances, and those who manage those inheritances might misuse the funds. If a parent chooses to use a trust instead of leaving assets directly to a child, he or she can specify who is in charge of managing the assets as well as how they should be used for the child.

Without an estate plan, surviving family members are left with little to no directions regarding things like inheritances and guardians for minor children. This can lead to fighting and even lengthy legal battles. This is why estate planning is an essential process for new parents and every adult in Lake Charles. 

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