If you've been following along, we recently started a discussion about estate planning while pregnant. So, if you're expecting a new baby, here are 3 more tasks you should do right now!
Estate Planning While Pregnant Task #5: Designate Powers of Attorney
We often think of powers of attorney (also known as POA) during medical emergencies, but they can be used for a variety of reasons. As such, before we discuss why you should designate powers of attorney if you are estate planning while pregnant, let's first understand what powers of attorney mean.
A power of attorney is a legal document that allows you to appoint a person or organization to manage your property, medical affairs or financial matters in the event that you are unable to do so yourself.
That said, not all powers of attorney are created equal as different level of control can be designated depending on the circumstances. For example, a general POV gives a person or organization broad powers to act on your behalf including making financial or business transactions, purchasing life insurance, settling legal claims or making hiring decisions. General POAs are effective if you are going to be out of the country for a period of time or if you are physically/mentally incapable of making decisions.
For purposes of estate planning while pregnant, you don't necessarily need to put a POV into action, but you should have a plan for one in case of an emergency. We often recommend a general power of attorney to be included in an estate plan to ensure that someone has been designated to handle your financial matters in the case of your absence.
Estate Planning While Pregnant Task #6: Name Beneficiaries for Financial Accounts including Retirement Funds
In our previous article, we talked about creating a living trust and designating beneficiaries for various accounts. That said, we find that people tend to forget to name beneficiaries for their retirement accounts.
With that in mind, if you have retirement account and you're estate planning while pregnant, make sure that you've listed your spouse, future children or your trust as the beneficiary of that account. As changes occur in your life, make sure to revisit that account and make revisions.
Estate Planning While Pregnant Task #7: Create a 529 Plan for Your Child's Education
Finally, a task you should do right now if you're estate planning while pregnant is to create a 529 plan (or other investment accounts) for your child's education. While these types of accounts can't be legally opened until the birth of your child as they require your baby's social security number, you can start planning for it.
With education costs continuing to rise, we can only imagine how much a college education will cost 18 years from now when that baby in your belly is ready to pursue higher education. Today's tuition numbers range from $20-60K depending on whether or not you attend a public or private school. As such, now is a great time to start thinking about how you'll save for college so that you can provide your child with a great education.
Even before you open an account with your child's name on it, you can start saving money each month that can later be transferred into a 529 plan. You can also open an investment account that can designated as your child's as part of their inheritance plan. Either way, there are a number of options available to plan ahead for your child's academic future.
HIRE AN ESTATE ATTORNEY IN RALEIGH TO ASSIST DURING YOUR PREGNANCY
Contact our estate lawyer in Raleigh, NC to schedule a consultation if you have yet to start estate planning while pregnant. If you don’t have an estate plan in place or haven’t reviewed yours in several years, now might be the best time to start. In addition to estate planning, our lawyer is here to help you with all your small business needs, trademarking, copyrighting, or other legal issues.