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Brett Graff

Update Wills to Prepare for Baby?

What changes should I make to my will in order to prepare for baby?

First of all you are smart to be thinking about taking care of this. It may not be fun to deal with, but you want to make sure baby is protected in the unlikely event that something happens to you. Your will should include every desire you have for your child and how much money you're gifting him or her to achieve those desires. Don't forget those little details stored in your daydreams, such as having him or her attend private school or have a lavish wedding. Remember, this document serves as the instructions you’ll leave behind and unless they’re all in writing, your wishes are anyone’s guess.

To fund all these wishes, you’ll also need to name your child as the beneficiary to your assets. But until baby is 18 years old, you must also appoint a trustee, such as a relative or close friend, to manage the money.

Separately, you’ll also have to choose someone to care for the child, and good news: the financial and emotional guardians can—but do not have to—be two different people. Learn more about selecting baby's guardians here.

Finally, state laws vary so, make sure your will is legal and in-line with regulations by consulting with a local trust and estates lawyer who can help guide you through the process.