Tips for Updating an Estate Plan Before the Birth of a New Child

Actress Brigitte Nielsen recently made headlines after announcing that she and her current husband are expecting a child. Best known for her roles in Red Sonya, Beverly Hills Cop, and Rocky IV, this 54-year-old actress has four other children. Though some were surprised by the announcement, the average age of mothers throughout the world has steadily increased as the overall standard of maternal healthcare continues to improve. However, regardless of the age of any pregnant woman, childbirth is not without its dangers. Updating an estate plan before the birth of a new child is a good way to protect the new baby, his or her siblings, and your family.

Review Your Healthcare Proxy

Childbirth does not always go as smoothly as we plan. No matter how thorough your birthing plan is and how experienced your medical team is, there are times when emergency situations occur. Before an unforeseen situation presents itself, make sure your estate plan includes an updated healthcare proxy, also referred to as a living will, that outlines how you want your family to proceed should an emergency take place. If a medical emergency does happen, the team providing your care will need your family to make decisions quickly and having your wishes documented will make an already high-stress situation easier to manage.

Update Beneficiaries

Some bank accounts and life insurance policies give preference to the individual named on the policy as the beneficiary. This means that if your will names a different person, that person may not be able to collect the proceeds of your life insurance policy or access the funds in your bank account. To avoid this, always make sure your listed beneficiaries are up to date. If your policy only names your current children or spouse, consider amending these to include the infant you are carrying. Never take the financial wellbeing of your children for granted.

Name a Guardian

If something did happen to you or your partner, someone you trust should be responsible for the upbringing of your child. The best way to guarantee that your child is raised by someone who shares your values or beliefs is to name specific people as guardian in your will. Prior to giving birth, speak to those you would like to list as guardians to be sure they are comfortable with the responsibility. Once they approve, include them in your estate plan along with a temporary guardian who can care for your child if the primary guardian lives in another state or is not immediately available to take your child.

Contact an Attorney

Most importantly, always speak with a qualified estate and trust attorney when you are ready to update your estate plan. An attorney who is familiar with your state’s laws and who understands your concerns is in the best position to provide you with the legal advice you need. The team at MMZ Law knows how stressful it is to update an estate plan prior to any major life event. We work with you to ease the process while providing you with the support you deserve. Contact our conveniently located Claremont, California location today to schedule an initial consultation.

 

BROUGHT TO YOU BY:

MMZ LAW, A PROFESSIONAL CORPORATION

341 W. 1st St. Suite 100
Claremont, CA 91711

MARIVEL M. ZIALCITA is the founder of MMZ LAW, A Professional Corporation, where she practices in the areas of Elder Law – Medi-Cal Planning Asset Protection, Trust & Estate, Special Needs, Conservatorship, Trust Administration, & Probate. Ms. Zialcita is a frequent speaker on trust and estate matters and holds memberships in the State Bar of California, Trust and Estate Section, The San Bernardino County Bar Association, Wealth Counsel and Elder Counsel. She currently assists in the pro bono legal services program at the James L. Brulte Senior Center in Rancho Cucamonga, California. She is based in Claremont but assists clients throughout Southern California.

This information is educational information only and not legal advice.

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Taking the right steps now will help you build up your legacy and allow you to live it for many years to come. Here at MMZ Law, we help clients throughout California with a wide range of estate planning services to help you prepare for whatever life throws your way so your assets will be protected.