How Should I Change My Estate Plan After a Baby?
By Zachary Mushkatel on August 30, 2013
If you are about to have a child or have just welcomed a new child into your family, congratulations! The experienced Arizona estate planning attorneys at Mushkatel, Robbins & Becker, PLLC, wish you the best.
The arrival of a new family member is a key time to consider updating your estate plan. Your estate plan may need to be altered whether the child is your first child or a later addition to your growing family. Some necessary changes may include:
- Adding the new child to the estate plan. Even if you wish to make no other changes, adding the name of your newest child to your estate plan clarifies that your plans apply to all your children – not just the elder offspring.
- Choosing or changing a guardian or trustee. If both parents pass away before the child reaches age 18, who will care for the child? Will another person or entity be responsible for managing the child’s inheritance? Use the arrival of your newest family member to consider choosing or changing the guardian or trustee.
- Ensuring your estate goes to the right people. An estate plan created before your first child may not adequately meet the needs of your child. Think about how you want your estate distributed now that you have one or more children, and make changes as needed.
- Planning for your child’s education. Education expenses can be steep, but a properly-designed estate plan can help a child meet these expenses, even if his or her parents pass away. Consider education plans when altering your estate plan to meet your new child’s needs.
Zachary Mushkatel is an Arizona native who earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Arizona in 2001 and his law degree from the University of Minnesota Law School in 2004. After serving as a public defender, he entered into private practice and, ultimately, joined forces with Mathis Becker to form the law firm known today as Mushkatel, Robbins & Becker, PLLC. In addition to criminal law, Mushkatel practices civil litigation, with a focus on estate litigation and personal injury cases. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce and Sun Valley Lodge, and he is an executive officer and member of the Board of Directors for the West Maricopa County Bar Association.