Adopting a child may mark the most important chapter in a couple’s marriage. As with many other life-changing events, it triggers the need to revisit the new parents’ estate plan. If they do not yet have a will or trust in place, then it is an excellent time to change that. As one should also do with the birth of a baby, a visit to an estate planning attorney is in order.
An estate plan may be limited to a will, or it may include a type of trust. There are several types of trusts and an estate planning lawyer can help you identify which one is the right one for your circumstances. However you ultimately plan your estate, the details can clarify any or all of the following:
· If this newest member of your family is a minor, it’s important to name a legal guardian in the event that you and your partner pass away.
· In addition to naming a guardian for your minor child, you can include your wishes for how they will be raised and what opportunities you want for them. In line with this are which amount of funds you are setting aside for the child’s needs such as college tuition, vacation funds, or anything else that is important to you.
· If you already have other children, whether they are your biological children, adopted children, or step children, you can specify in your estate plan who should inherit which of your assets. (Note that by law they cannot access those assets until they reach adult age. An estate planning lawyer can provide you with more detailed information on this.)
· If you wish for your child to be older than the minimum age to access their inherited assets, you can do so in your will. You may also attach certain criteria that they must meet or reach before they can receive your gifts. For example, they must obtain a college degree.
· If your adopted child has one or more special needs, your estate plan can include a special needs trust. A trust of this type allows you to put aside funds for your child and their special needs without putting your child’s government benefits at risk.
· When you meet with an estate planning attorney, they can review your circumstances and the needs of your adopted child, as well as your final wishes for them. Your attorney can provide you with additional insight, such as tax advantages for which your estate might qualify, thereby providing more funds for your heirs.
Gain the Insight You Need from an Experienced Estate Planning Attorney
To ensure that your estate plan is legally binding and not likely to be contested in court after your passing, you may be best served by hiring an estate planning lawyer in Allentown, PA. Having an estate plan in place can provide you with peace of mind knowing that you have provided for the newest member of your family.
Thanks to Klenk Law for their insight into estate planning and adoption.