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Protecting precious cargo: estate planning for new parents

Virtually any ongoing source of estate planning information -- including our blog at the long-tenured Bay Area Law Offices of Connie Yi -- will occasionally restate a fundamental point concerning the planning community.

That point stresses a common misconception shared by scores of millions of Americans.

That is this: Estate planning really makes sense only for a select and tightly limited demographic, namely, relatively aged individuals/couples and extremely wealthy people.

We have taken aim at that belief in some past posts, spotlighting it as the myth it is. In fact, tailored and well-crafted estate planning can promote peace of mind and materially promote the interests of virtually any individual.

A recent planning-themed article from the financial publication Motley Fool underscores that truth, focusing specifically on young parents just starting families. Many members of that demographic think they don’t need to engage in estate planning.

They do.

In fact, it can be vital for them to do so, given that one or more persons relying on them are young and vulnerable children. The writer of the Fool piece rightly notes that children depend on mom and dad “to make decisions now that will [provide] for a secure future even if the worst happens.”

Procuring life insurance -- an easy task that typically comes with a reasonable price tag -- seems an eminently reasonable move, right? Planning commentators typically point to it as an initial imperative for parents with kids.

And how about that will? Many young couples downplay the importance of will execution, given that they don’t yet have many assets to hand down.

But that is not the main focus for new parents. What if something happens to one or both of you (e.g., an incapacitating condition or death) that leaves question marks surrounding who will take care of the children? A guardian designation in a will can alleviate that concern.

An experienced estate planning attorney who routinely works closely with new parents is obviously a good go-to source for young mothers and fathers seeking planning information. A proven attorney can help parents implement strategies that will help to optimally safeguard the futures of young loved ones, regardless of what might happen before they become adults.

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