If you are like other North Carolina expectant parents, you have a long to-do list before the baby arrives. With so many tasks to take care of in a relatively short amount of time, you may wonder whether you will forget something.
What you may forget to even put on your list is estate planning. This is something that many new parents neglect to address, but it could prove one of the most important things you can do for your new arrival.
Why is it so important?
You may not want to envision a time when you won't be there for your child, but that does not mean you shouldn't prepare for it. You could compare estate planning to buying an insurance policy. It is something you know you need but hope to never use. First, minors cannot inherit property directly. You will need to arrange for your children's inheritance to be held until they reach the age of majority or later depending on your preference and planning.
You will also need to consider who you would want to raise your child in your absence. If you fail to appoint someone to take on this important responsibility, a North Carolina court could end up doing it for you. Are you sure that whomever the court would choose would also be your choice? If not, then you may want to retain control over that appointment. The court could override your choice for good cause, but more than likely, the court will honor your wishes.
What happens if you become incapacitated?
Your child may need a guardian before your death under certain circumstances. If you suffer from an injury or illness that renders you unable to make decisions for yourself and to care for your child, someone will need to step in and take over these duties, even if only temporarily. Someone will also need to provide for the financial needs of your children as well. In addition, you will need someone to make financial and health care decisions for you during this time.
Where do you start?
If you now have estate planning on your list of things to do before the arrival of your bundle of joy, you may wonder where to start. A review of your particular circumstances, wishes and needs is a good place to start. You may find it useful to seek out some help with this and with choosing the documentation that suits you and your growing family best.